Client Alert – 7th Circuit Rules Sexual Orientation is a Title VII Protected Category

On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit issued a monumental opinion (Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana), holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It is the first [and only] federal circuit court decision of its kind; and comes only one week after the Second Circuit ruled that sexual orientation is not a protected category under Title VII.
For employers with operations within the Seventh Circuit, the ruling suggests the need for a hurried review of employment handbooks, practices, policies, and procedures to ensure Title VII compliance. Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP’s employment team has extensive experience reviewing, analyzing, drafting, and revising employment-related policies for compliance with applicable law.