While several ballot initiatives nationwide show there has been a change in how the general public perceives same-sex relationships, sexual orientation is still not a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Recent case: Sharon worked as a social worker for the state for about three months. She claimed that she was fired after disclosing to a client that she is a lesbian. She asked the client if she was gay, too. Sharon applied for other North Carolina state employee positions but wasn’t hired for any of them.
She sued, representing herself. She argued that she had been fired because of her sexual orientation.
The court tossed out her case, reasoning that even if Sharon had been fired because of her sexual orientation, that isn’t illegal under Title VII. (Thomas v. State of North Carolina, et al., No. 3:12-CV-00038, WD NC, 2013)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Economic woes force changes in staffing, salaries, benefits
- Prison nurses receive $630,000 for hostile work environment
- Internal wage-and-hour complaints don't count as 'testimony' in FLSA retaliation cases
- Lab must pay $2.73 million to wrongly fired workers