Fifth Circuit: Title VII Does Not Protect Against Transgender Discrimination

In a recent decision, Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Company, 18-20251 (5th Cir. Feb. 6, 2019), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on discrimination “because of … sex” does not protect against discrimination based on transgender status.

In light of other Circuits that have ruled otherwise – e.g., Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., 883 F.3d 100 (2nd Cir. 2018) (en banc); EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., 884 F.3d 560 (6th Cir. 2018); Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll. of Ind., 853 F.3d 339 (7th Cir. 2017) (en banc) – this could further lay the groundwork for the U.S. Supreme Court to address (and, hopefully, resolve) the scope of Title VII’s deceptively simple prohibition of discrimination “because of … sex.”

Here is the decision:

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