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Sexual Orientation/LGBT Discrimination

Today is the 2018 NYC Pride March, which celebrates the LGBT community and commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Since last year’s March, there have been several interesting developments in the area of LGBT rights. For example, earlier this year the Second Circuit held (en banc) in Zarda v. Altitude Express that Title VII of the […]

In Matter of Advanced Recovery, Inc. v. Fuller, 2018 NY Slip Op 03974 (2d Dept. June 6, 2018), the court confirmed an April 2015 determination of the New York State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) finding that the complainant – a woman who was born a man, and who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – suffered discrimination. […]

In a 7-2 decision issued today, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (U.S. No. 16-111 June 4, 2018) (J. Kennedy), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to create a cake for a gay couple’s wedding because of his claimed religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Importantly, […]

In a recent (May 29, 2018) Petition for Writ of Certiorari, filed in Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, the petitioner seeks to overturn the Second Circuit’s en banc decision holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on discrimination based on “sex” also prohibits discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”

In Blair v. Brooklyn Transportation Corp., 17-cv-383, 2018 WL 1581974 (E.D.N.Y. March 30, 2018), the court (inter alia) denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s gender discrimination claim. From the decision: Plaintiff’s allegations are sufficient for the Court to infer that Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff. Defendant was aware of Plaintiff’s transgender status because, when Plaintiff began […]

In Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. (2d Cir. 15-3775 Feb. 26, 2018) (en banc), decided today by an en banc (i.e., full) Second Circuit panel, held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on discrimination “because of … sex” extends to sexual orientation. The court’s 69-page majority opinion aligns Second Circuit law with positions […]

In Giove v. City of New York, 15-cv-2998, 2018 WL 736008 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 5, 2018), the court addressed whether sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation claims brought by a teacher were barred by collateral estoppel due to a prior finding at a hearing pursuant to NY Education Law § 3020-a. Under the facts of this case, the […]

On January 10, 2018, the New York City Human Rights Law was amended with respect to its definitions of “sexual orientation” (N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 8-102(20)) and “gender” (id. § 8-102(23)) to effectively broaden those terms. The NYC Human Rights Law, inter alia, prohibits discrimination (in various forms) “because of the actual or perceived … gender [or] […]

In Harrington v. City of New York, 2018 NY Slip Op 00381, 2018 WL 503144 (App. Div. 1st Dept. Jan. 23, 2018), the Appellate Division, First Department modified a lower court order and reinstated plaintiff police officer’s claims for sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation under the New York State and City Human Rights Laws. As […]

From DeBello v. VolumeCocomo Apparel, Inc., 2017 WL 6616704, at *3 (C.A.2 (N.Y.), 2017): We conclude … that in the circumstances here, DeBello’s public policy argument does not overcome the presumption that “a valid forum-selection clause [should be] given controlling weight in all but the most exceptional cases.” Atl. Marine, 134 S.Ct. at 581 (alteration in […]