Friday, April 07, 2017

Always On Guard

We need to be vigilant that our rights are not taken away. We need laws not executive orders that were given with a stroke of a pen and can be taken away with a pen (New York are you listening?).

There is an employment blog that I follow and Wednesday’s post is,
Title VII and Sexual Orientation Debate Largely Moot in Connecticut
By Daniel Schwartz
April 5th, 2017

Over the last week or so, there have been two prominent Circuit Court decisions addressing whether Title VII (the federal law prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion and national origin) can be interpreted to also protect employees from being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

The Second Circuit, which covers Connecticut, basically said no in a decision last week in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group.  The court did open the door a bit to a claim that an employee was discriminated against because of sex stereotyping.

Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit created the first split at the appellate level, finding that Title VII does cover such claims in the Hivley v. Ivy Tech Community College case. Jon Hyman, of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, does a good job addressing the historic nature of the case here.
As I wrote about this morning, there are trans high school athletes here in Connecticut that are protected by the Connecticut non-discrimination law. In federal courts we have been winning some cases but we are also losing cases, especially down in Texas and other southern states.
Indeed, the battles are now going to get bigger. One or more of these cases are now likely to get heard at the U.S. Supreme Court level where it is far from certain whether Title VII can really be read so broadly.
Most of the victories that we have had are from judges appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama, while most of our loses have been by judges appointed by President Bush. Congress has blocked all the Obama’s administration appointment of federal judges, so in the coming months look for a deluge of appointments who belief that God is above the Constitution. And now we will have Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court bench it will make it more difficult to get a victory there.

But my main concern is with a so called “Religious Freedom” law or executive order that gives special rights for people to discriminate. I am concerned about the law or EO requiring anyone who receives a federal contact or funding grant special rights to discriminate and override state laws.

Now with the Republican sharing control of the state Senate anything can happen here in the state, the Democrats have a narrow lead in the House but all it will take is for just a few Democrats to vote in favor of Republican bills. The one block that we have is the governor, he is a very strong supporter of LGBT rights, and with a governor veto it will take a two thirds vote in both chambers to override the veto.

No matter what happens we have to be on our guard.

1 comment:

Zippi Kit said...

Eternally vigilant! The power mad never miss a beat!