U.S. high court turns away dispute over gay worker protections




  • In US
  • 2017-12-11 14:54:19Z
  • By By Andrew Chung
FILE PHOTO: The U.
FILE PHOTO: The U.  

By Andrew Chung

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by a Georgia security guard who said she was harassed and forced from her job because she is a lesbian, avoiding an opportunity to decide whether a federal law that bans gender-based bias also outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The justices left in place a lower court ruling against Jameka Evans, who had argued that workplace sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Workplace protections are a major source of concern for advocates of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The case hinged on an argument that is currently being litigated in different parts of the United States and has divided lower courts: whether Title VII, which bans employment discrimination based on sex, also outlaws bias based on sexual orientation. Title VII also bars employment discrimination based on race, color, religion and national origin.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an independent federal agency that enforces Title VII, had argued since 2012, during Democratic former President Barack Obama's administration, that bias against gay workers violates the law.

But in July, Republican President Donald Trump's administration argued the opposite in a separate case. That case, involving a skydiving instructor who said he lost his job after telling a customer he was gay, is currently pending before a New York federal appeals court.

Evans in 2015 sued Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah, a psychiatric facility, and several of its officials.

She alleged that while she worked there from 2012 to 2013, her supervisor tried to force her to quit because she wore a male uniform and did not conform to female gender stereotypes. She said the supervisor asked questions about her relationships, prompted a junior employee above her, and physically slammed a door into her body.

In March, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the hospital, saying that only the Supreme Court can declare that Title VII's protections cover gay workers.

Represented by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, an LGBT legal advocacy group, Evans appealed to the Supreme Court. Her lawyers cited language in the high court's landmark 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide that discriminating against gay people diminishes their personhood.

Her case was backed by nearly 80 companies, including Microsoft and Apple, as well as 17 states and the District of Columbia.



(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Pennsylvania court orders new congressional map due to gerrymandering
Pennsylvania court orders new congressional map due to gerrymandering
  • US
  • 2018-01-22 21:41:57Z

In a 5-2 decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the electoral map violated the state's Constitution by manipulating the district boundaries to marginalize Democratic voters, a practice called partisan gerrymandering. Democrats, who hold only five of the state's 18 congressional districts despite Pennsylvania's status as an electoral swing state, hope to regain control of the House in the November mid-term elections by flipping 24 seats now held by Republicans nationwide. A new map could give Democratic candidates a chance to capture as many as half a dozen Republican seats in Pennsylvania alone, with national polls showing voters strongly favoring Democrats in 2018.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Embraces
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Embraces 'Saturday Night Live' Impression

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg opens up about Kate McKinnon's 'Saturday Night Live' impression of her.

Roe Made Abortions Legal, But It Doesn't Keep Women And Providers Safe
Roe Made Abortions Legal, But It Doesn't Keep Women And Providers Safe

Before 1973′s Roe v. Wade, the problems were dangerous abortions and unequal access to safe abortions.

Focus shifts to executions in Japan
Focus shifts to executions in Japan's 1995 sarin gas attack

TOKYO (AP) - More than two decades after poison gas attacks in Tokyo's subways killed 13, the stage has shifted to the execution of 13 people convicted in the crime. When they will be sent to the gallows, though, remains a mystery in Japan's highly secretive death penalty system.

Roe v. Wade Lawyer 'Amazed' Americans Still Fighting Over Abortion
Roe v. Wade Lawyer 'Amazed' Americans Still Fighting Over Abortion

"When I started the case, the research in 1969, if anybody had said, 'You will still be talking about this in 45 years,' I would not have believed that."

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.