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Sexual Orientation/LGBT Discrimination

On September 26, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral argument in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express, Case No. 15-3775. At issue is whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition of discrimination “because of … sex” extends to sexual orientation. One of the interesting aspects […]

In O’Halloran v. Metropolitan Transp. Auth., 2017 NY Slip Op 06237 (Aug. 22, 2017), the court addressed the following narrow issue on appeal: [W]hether the motion court providently permitted plaintiff to amend her complaint to include belated claims of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation on the ground that those claims related back to the original pleading, […]

Here is the United States’ amicus brief in Zarda v. Altitude Express (2d Cir. 15-3775 July 26, 2017), in which the government argues that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should not be interpreted to cover employment discrimination based on on employee’s sexual orientation. The government argues, inter alia: The question presented is not […]

In Luka v. Bard Coll., No. 15-cv-4598, 2017 WL 2839641 (S.D.N.Y. June 29, 2017), the court held, inter alia, that plaintiff sufficiently alleged gender discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL). This decision is instructive on how courts apply pleading standards to such claims. The court summarized the law: To state a […]

From Thygesen v. N. Bailey Volunteer Fire Co., No. 16-00775, 2017 WL 2491451, at *2 (N.Y. App. Div. June 9, 2017): [P]laintiff is not required to prove his claim to defeat summary judgment” (Ferrante, 90 N.Y.2d at 630). Rather, “[t]o defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment in [a sexual orientation] discrimination case, plaintiff[ ] […]

Today is the NYC Pride March, part of an annual celebration to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 – the event(s) that sparked the beginning of the modern Gay/LGBT Rights movement. Various laws protect employees against discrimination because of their sexual orientation. For example, the New York City Human Rights Law provides, in relevant part: […]

In Zarda v. Altitude Express (2d Cir. No. 15-3775 April 18, 2017), the Second Circuit – in a per curiam opinion issued by a panel comprising Judges Jacobs, Sack, and Lynch – affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of a gay man’s claim that his employer terminated him because of his sexual orientation, in violation of […]

In Philpott v. State of New York, No. 16 CIV. 6778 (AKH), 2017 WL 1750398 (S.D.N.Y. May 3, 2017) (J. Hellerstein), the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for sexual orientation discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. From the opinion: [P]laintiff has adequately […]

In Garvey v. Childtime Learning Ctr., No. 5:16-CV-1073, 2017 WL 1378179 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 13, 2017), the Judge McAvoy adopted Magistrate Judge Baxter’s Report and Recommendation that plaintiff’s discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – based on the failure to hire him due to his perceived sexual orientation – be […]

In Alvarado v. Nordstrom, Inc., No. 16-971-CV, 2017 WL 1175654 (2d Cir. Mar. 29, 2017) (Summary Order), the court vacated the district court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s retaliation claim under the NYC Human Rights Law. It affirmed its dismissal, however, of plaintiff’s race discrimination and hostile work environment claims (as well as his retaliation claims under federal […]