Frank Talk To Prospective Job Applicants or Discrimination?

 

Sonya Duhé

When I was in law school, a petite young woman asked a professor a question in class in a voice that can be accurately described as a “tiny.”

“If you want to be an attorney, ” the professor bellowed, “You need to speak with power and authority. You may want to rethink whether the law is right for you.” 

One can imagine Sonya Forte Duhé offering advice in a similar vein as the chair of Loyola University’s School of Communication and Design.

Duhé was set to take over July 1 as the dean of the Arizona State University (ASU) journalism school and as chief executive officer of Arizona’s PBS station. But ASU recently retracted its job offer. She had already left Loyola in anticipation of the new job and is now unemployed. Continue reading “Frank Talk To Prospective Job Applicants or Discrimination?”

Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

Workers who were targeted for harassment because they were perceived to be gay, lesbian or transgender historically had little recourse against cruel and harmful harassment.

Gays, lesbians and transgender workers are not specifically mentioned as a “protected class” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. And  federal anti-harassment laws do not  protect workers unless they are members of a protected class.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15, 2020  by a vote of 6-3 held the prohibition against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, states that under Title VII “[a]n individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions … [and] it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”

The tide began to turn in 2014 when the  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) unilaterally decided that Title VII’s “broad prohibition of discrimination” on the basis of sex “will offer coverage to lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in certain circumstances.”

The EEOC ruling was made in a case filed by Leon Brooker, a  clerk at a U.S. Postal Service distribution service in Atlanta, GA, who was forced to wage a lonely but important legal battle to be free from sexual orientation harassment. Continue reading “Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace”