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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ind. Decisions - More on: 7th Cir. to rehear Ivy Tech anti-gay employment discrimination case en banc

Updating this ILB post from yesterday, here is a story by Michael Tarm of the AP, headed " Court vacates Ivy Tech sexual-orientation bias ruling: Former college instructor claims discrimination." A quote from the story:

Civil rights groups said in filings calling on the 7th Circuit to do what it has now done that Hively's case is a chance "to correct its outdated and unworkable interpretation" Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and to expand the scope of its protections to include LGBT workers.
Here is a story from Madeline Buckley of the Indianapolis Star. Some quotes:
The fight isn't over yet for a South Bend woman who was told by a court that she could not sue Ivy Tech Community College because federal law does not protect sexual orientation from workplace discrimination.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday agreed to take another look at the case brought by Kim Hively, a former part-time instructor at Ivy Tech who is accusing the community college of not hiring her full-time because she is a lesbian.

Hively sued Ivy Tech in 2014, but her case was dismissed. Though federal law protects employees from discrimination based on race, sex, religion, color and national origin, it does not offer protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. In July, a panel of three 7th Circuit judges had upheld the dismissal, though they criticized the fact that sexual orientation is not included in workplace protections guaranteed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Now, the court on Nov. 30 will hear the case before its full panel of judges, the next step in the judicial process that allows Hively to continue fighting for her case. The court's earlier opinion is now vacated.

More from the story:
"It seems unlikely that our society can continue to condone a legal structure in which employees can be fired, harassed, demeaned, singled out for undesirable tasks, paid lower wages, demoted, passed over for promotions, and otherwise discriminated against solely based on who they date, love or marry," the July opinion read.

The judges will not be examining whether Hively has evidence that she was discriminated against at work because of her sexual orientation. Rather, the issue at hand right now is whether she should be allowed to try to prove those claims in the first place.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 12, 2016 09:47 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions