UPDATE: SCOTUS Cert Petition Filed in New York Case Holding that Federal Law Protects Gay Employees from Discrimination
“The momentum is headed towards justice under the law for LGBT employees. The LGBT Bar of New York agrees with the full Second Circuit — which sits in our backyard. Everyone has the right to feel safe and protected at work.”
UPDATE: Read the SCOTUS Cert petition at Equality Case Files: http://files.eqcf.org/cases/altitude-express-cert-petition/
Today, in an historic ruling the Second Circuit, sitting in New York, overruled two of its prior precedents by holding that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, which is already prohibited under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act.
The LGBT Bar Association of New York filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this landmark case, Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc.. The LGBT Bar of New York, and many other civil rights organizations have over the course of many years maintained that federal law, if properly understood, protects LGBT people from employment discrimination.
The momentum is headed towards justice under the law for LGBT employees. Today, the Second Circuit joined many other federal courts in recognizing that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The LGBT Bar of New York agrees with the full Second Circuit — which sits in our backyard. Everyone has the right to feel safe and protected at work.
The U.S. Supreme Court should settle the divide among our appellate courts. LGBT employees need to know that they are protected under federal law. The time is now.
After revealing his sexual orientation to a customer at the Long Island skydiving company where he worked, skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda was fired. The termination followed a history of anti-gay discrimination from the employer, Altitude Express, Inc..
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 precludes employers from discriminating against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Last year, the full Seventh Circuit in April issued a similar ruling, holding that the Civil Rights Act does cover sexual orientation. In March, the Eleventh Circuit reached the opposite conclusion.
Recognizing the important need to revisit this issue, the entire Second Circuit agreed to rehear the case after the three-judge panel denied Mr. Zarda’s claim in April. Tragically, in October 2014, Mr. Zarda died in a base-jumping accident in Switzerland and he missed the trial.