In a post yesterday, I reported that the 3d Circuit Court of Appeals had recently reversed a summary judgment in a Title VII case that had implications for gay rights. Of course, Title VII does not on its face, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. It does, however, prevent gender discrimination, including claims of “gender stereotyping.”
Attorney Katie Eyer, of Salmansaon Goldshaw, P.C., who argued the case on behalf of Prowell stated:
“This decision means a lot to lesbian and gay workers. It clearly affirms that lesbian and gay workers have the right to bring gender stereotyping claims under Title VII, just like everyone else. And, the court recognized that gay Plaintiffs can prevail, if they prove their harassers were motivated in party by gender non-conformity – even if those harassers were also motivated by secual orientation. Gay plaintiffs can no longer be held to a higher standard than everyone else.”
Keep in mind that Connecticut already has a law that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. Our Fair Employment Practices Act, administered by the CHRO, provides a cause of action for gay and lesbian employees.
Again, cudos to Mr. Prowell for his courage, to Katie for her advocacy and also to the Third Circuit for making the right call.