• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Title VII’s silence on gay bias doesn’t give OK to discriminate

by on
in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

It would be an understatement to describe the working relationship between nurse Gary Hamner and the hospital's medical director as poor. Hamner, a homosexual, says the director harassed him by refusing to communicate with him, flipping his wrists and making jokes about homosexuals.

Hamner filed a written grievance with the hospital. Soon after, he was fired for falsifying a hospital document. Hamner claimed the firing was illegal retaliation under Title VII, but a court threw out the claim and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

Its reasoning: Title VII doesn't cover harassment based on sexual orientation. Although the U.S. Supreme Court's 1998 decision in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services Inc. said same-sex harassment is illegal when it occurs because of the plaintiff's sex, federal courts have continued to rule that harassment based solely on a person's sexual preference is not covered by the federal law. (Hamner v. St. Vincent Hospital, No. 99-3086, 7th Cir., 2000)

Advice: If you permit harassment of homosexuals in the workplace, you still could be liable under other laws. Several state and local anti-discrimination statutes protect homosexuals. Plus, sexual orientation lawsuits have been brought with limited success under a variety of federal employment laws, including the Equal Pay Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and ERISA.

Bottom line: Check your obligations under state and local law.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/1469/title-viis-silence-on-gay-bias-doesnt-give-ok-to-discriminate "

Leave a Comment