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‘Writing on the Wall’ for Title VII Expansion to Sexual Orientation?

8.15.16

The article, “‘Writing on the Wall’ for Title VII Expansion to Sexual Orientation?” featured in Law Week Colorado, discussed why employers in Colorado, where sexual orientation-based discrimination is already outlawed, should take note of the Title VII issue as it could raise the national profile of sexual orientation discrimination in general, possibly increasing the incidence of complaints.

Lawrence Lee weighed in on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to adhere to the precedent in dismissing a sexual orientation discrimination claim under the Civil Rights Act.

He said that the 7th Circuit was “well-reasoned” in its deference to the high court and the legislature.

“What they’re looking for is some guidance… and we’re not there yet,” Lawrence said. For now, Colorado employers should focus on compliance with existing state protections against sexual orientation-based discrimination, he added.

As the Title VII issue gains more momentum in the federal courts, it could raise the profile of sexual orientation-based discrimination as a national issue, possibly leading to more discrimination complaints under state statutes such as the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, Lawrence said.

Lawrence said the November elections will impact on the Title VII issue based on how they alter the presidency, Congress and ultimately the Supreme Court vacancy. Those changes are likely to come before any new relevant precedent or legislations, he added.

To read the full article, please visit Law Week Colorado [subscription required].

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