Sexual Orientation Harassment

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    While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) doesn't list sexual orientation as a protected class, an increasing number of local and state governments are passing laws and ordinances that protect applicants and employees from workplace discrimination and harassment that's based on sexual orientation. So, even though Title VII...

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    The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has been introduced in nearly every congressional session since 1994, but it has rarely garnered enough support to warrant a full vote in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Undeterred, the bill's proponents have steadily gained support from legislators on both sides of the aisle, and on...
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    Q I have an employee who is outwardly gay. He is a great employee and says he loves working at my business. However, he recently mentioned that he doesn't like when a specific coworker uses antigay slurs. The slurs are not directed toward the gay employee. Instead, the slurs are generic comments such as "That's so gay." Are the comments a form...
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    From the time I began practicing employment law (too many) years ago—and probably for longer than that—employment lawyers have been quite comfortable advising clients that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender and other protected status) does not cover sexual orientation...
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    According to previous decisions by the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Iowa employers), "Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964] does not prohibit discrimination against homosexuals." Congress also has repeatedly rejected legislation that would extend Title VII's coverage to sexual orientation. So can an employee...
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    An Ohio appellate court recently reiterated that employees aren't protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation under Ohio law. The court stressed that Ohio's statutes prohibiting discrimination don't include "sexual orientation" as a protected class, nor has the Ohio Supreme Court addressed the issue. The court held that...
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    Sticks and stones may break your bones, but ugly words from your supervisors may land you in court. In this case, a federal court ultimately ruled that a supervisor's teasing remarks to a homosexual male employee weren't actionable harassment. The case also demonstrates the proper way to respond to a harassment complaint. Facts...
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    Sticks and stones may break your bones, but ugly words from your supervisors may land you in court. In this case, a federal court ultimately ruled that a supervisor's teasing remarks to a homosexual male employee weren't actionable harassment. The case also demonstrates the proper way to respond to a harassment complaint. Facts...
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    An employer's failure to protect its employee from harassment by a client may result in liability, according to a recent unpublished opinion from the Fourth Circuit. The court's decision holds some lessons for how you should respond if you're ever faced with this dilemma. Facts Cromer Food Services, Inc. (CFS),...
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    Today, same-sex marriage isn't recognized by the state of California. That wasn't always the case, however, and there's a strong chance that things will change again soon. If same-sex marriages resume in the state of California, employers should know how a change in the law can affect the duties you owe your employees. The areas of...
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