Equity & Diversity News in Brief

U.S. Court Rules Title VII Covers Sexual Orientation in Workplace

By Mark Walsh — April 18, 2017 1 min read

Ruling in the case of an Indiana community college instructor, a federal appeals court has held that employment bias based on sexual orientation is covered by Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination.

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled 8-3 to revive a suit filed by Kimberly Hively, a lesbian and a part-time adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech Community College. She alleges that the college refused to hire her for six full-time posts she sought over five years because of her sexual orientation.

Ivy Tech claimed that the protection against workplace sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover sexual orientation. But in its April 4 decision, the court ruled that sexual orientation was covered by the federal civil rights law, making it the first federal appeals court to so rule.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 19, 2017 edition of Education Week as U.S. Court Rules Title VII Covers Sexual Orientation in Workplace

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