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EEOC: Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation Is A Form Of Sex Discrimination

Though the Florida Legislature has not yet passed a state law protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, a recent case out of Florida shows that employers may be prohibited from such discrimination under federal law. Though Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not expressly mention sexual orientation or gender identity, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a brief in a case out of Florida advising the Eleventh Circuit that sexual orientation should be covered under Title VII.

In Burrows v. College of Central Florida, a district court dismissed claims by a lesbian professor based on the assertion that sexual orientation discrimination was not a recognized claim under Title VII. The brief from the EEOC advised the Court of Appeals that the agency considered sexual orientation discrimination to be covered under sex discrimination for the following reasons and more:

  • It involves sex stereotyping;
  • It is based on the failure to conform traditional sex norms; and
  • It inherently requires the consideration of an employee’s sex.

Whether the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will agree with the EEOC’s arguments is yet to be seen, however, this is not the only case in which the EEOC has made such arguments.

Protections In Place For Many Florida Employees

Even if courts do not always interpret Title VII to apply to sexual orientation cases and even if Florida continues to have no statewide protections, this does not mean that all Florida employees are vulnerable to such employment discrimination. In fact, many different counties and cities have taken the matter into their own hands and passed local laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or both. The following are areas in which employees have such protections:

Sexual orientation and gender identity Only sexual orientation
Counties ●       Palm Beach

●       Miami-Dade

●       Broward

●       Orange

●       Monroe

●       Volusia

●       Pinellas

●       Sarasota

Cities ●       Atlantic Beach

●       Gulfport

●       Cape Coral

●       Gainesville

●       Dunedin

●       Miami Beach

●       Orlando

●       Key West

●       Largo

●       Lake Worth

●       Neptune Beach

●       Tampa

●       Tallahassee

●       West Palm Beach

●       Venice

●       Oakland Park

●       Tequesta

●       Wilton Manors

●       Fort Lauderdale

●       Delray Beach

●       Palm Beach Gardens

●       Juno Beach

●       Sarasota

●       Jupiter

●       St. Petersburg

●       Royal Palm Beach

●       Hypoluxo

 

If you live in any of these counties or cities, you have rights against discrimination in the workplace based on these factors and should contact an attorney if you believe your rights have been violated.

Call A Florida Employment Attorney For Help Today

Employers should always comply with any applicable local, state, and federal laws regarding the proper treatment of employees. When they engage in wrongful discrimination, employers should be held accountable for any losses suffered by employees as a result. At the law office of Florida employment lawyer Robert S. Norell, P.A., we represent employees who have been the victims of all types of unlawful workplace discrimination. Whether you have been wrongfully discriminated against based on sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, or any other prohibited factor, you should never hesitate to call our office for a consultation. Call today at 800-796-0849 for more information today.

Robert S. Norell, P.A.
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Broward County: 954-617-6017
Miami-Dade County: 305-405-WAGE
Toll-Free: 800-796-0849

300 N.W. 70th Avenue, Suite 305
Plantation, Florida 33317

Robert S. Norell, P.A. is located in Plantation, FL and serves clients in and around Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Dania, Pembroke Pines, Opa Locka, North Miami Beach, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hialeah, Miami, Boca Raton, Miami Beach, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County.

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