Chicago collection agency collects a discrimination suit
Chicago, IL – Malcom S. Gerald & Associates, a Chicago based collection agency, is being sued in federal court for sexual orientation discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”) has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Malcom S. Gerald, alleging that the collection agency subjected a homosexual employee to severe and pervasive discrimination based on that employee’s sexual orientation.
According to the EEOC, Malcom S. Gerald violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it subjected an employee to unwelcome and offensive comments by his supervisors and co-workers, including many homophobic racial slurs on the daily bases. Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago, further alleged that when the employee complained about the harassment, the company failed to take appropriate action to remedy the harassment, thus continuing the hostile work environment that Malcom S. Gerald subjected their employee to.
While this case may seem pretty cut in dry, currently, federal law does not specifically protect sexual orientation under Title VII. As of now, there is a jurisdictional split as to whether sexual orientation is a protected category for the purposes of employment discrimination. Recently, *President Trump’s administration issued a press release stating that Title VII does not protect sexual orientation. In their unsolicited brief on the matter, the Trump administration focused on the exact language of Title VII, noting that nothing in Title VII covered sexual orientation, and if the American people intended to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation under Title VII, then they would have included the language in the bill Congress passed.
However, historically famous jurists, and Seventh Circuit Judge, the Honorable Richard Posner, authored an opinion where he stated Title VII does cover sexual orientation under its gender discrimination provision. Hon. Posner’s decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech is the first major decision to rule that sexual orientation is covered under Title VII, jurisdictional split. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their gender, specifically, if they fail to confirm gender stereotypes. In Hively, Hon. Posner reasoned that individuals being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, are in fact being discriminated against because they fail to confirm to traditional gender stereotypes, specifically, the stereotype that men should be attracted to women, not men. The Supreme Court has yet to grant certiorari on the matter, but Ivy tech has appealed Hon. Posner’s decision.
Traditionally, Title VII covers gender discrimination and sex-based discrimination. Under Title VII, an employer is prohibited from creating a hostile work environment based on an employees, gender or sex. Many states, such as New York and Pennsylvania, have analogous laws to Title VII, which prohibit discrimination based on sex and gender. Further, cities such as New York City have laws specifically covering their LGBT citizens.
The experienced New York City sexual harassment and employment discrimination attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC have years of experience litigating claims of sexual harassment and employment discrimination based on gender. We have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who have been survivors of sexual orientation discrimination. If you feel like you have been discriminated in the workplace based on your sexual orientation, please give us a call at (800) 807-2209 for a free consultation to discuss your possible claim.