EEOC files its first two lawsuits accusing employers of gender bias
the EEOC filed its first two lawsuits accusing employers of gender bias for discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. Specifically, both cases allege employee harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of sex. As the federal law enforcement agency charged with interpreting and enforcing Title VII, the EEOC previously concluded that harassment and other discrimination because of sexual orientation is prohibited sex discrimination. These two lawsuits underscore that position. Addressing emerging and developing issues, especially coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions, is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). Employers should take notice of the EEOC’s actions as a reminder that the EEOC will now be more likely to closely scrutinize policies, practices, and procedures. Similarly, they should consider reviewing their current EEO policies, procedures, and practices, and implementing policies that address these recent developments. Employers also need to pay attention to the rapidly changing trends as they relate to employers’ obligations to address sexual orientation and/or gender identity issues within the workplace. If you have any questions with how the EEOC’s interpretation of Title VII may affect you, our team will be happy to help.]]>
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