The Trump Administration is making it abundantly clear that it is set on reversing the government’s position on LGBTQ rights, more specifically, LGBTQ employee rights. Just this week, during an appeal for a work place sexual orientation discrimination case, a lawyer from the Justice Department under the Trump Administration argued against the former employee who filed the lawsuit. The ex-employee, Donald Zarda, worked for a company called Altitude Express and claims he was fired for being gay.
The lawyer for the Trump Administration felt the need to argue that the LGBTQ community is not protected from being terminated due of their sexual orientation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This argument is surprising considering that for decades now, the law has been interpreted to include protections for an individual’s sexual orientation. As recently as this past April, the Seventh Circuit of Appeals affirmed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act does in fact cover sexual orientation and interpreting this law in any other manner would be “confusing and contradictory”. The statement made by Trump’s Department of Justice was even odder since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency, had already sided with Zarda, effectively placing the federal government on both sides of the case.
However, this is not the first time that the Trump Administration has made it a point to try and eliminate protections for LGBTQ Americans through its Department of Justice. Under the direction of Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the administration has made an agenda of targeting the gay community through a number of high profile cases.
Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP strongly objects to workplace discrimination of any kind and believes that being discriminated against due to one’s sexual orientation should be a protected category. Considering it is illegal under the New York City Human Rights Law, it is important to know that employees have rights. If you or a loved one feels as though they are dealing with discrimination in the work place it is helpful to speak with an employment lawyer. Fitapelli & Schaffer offers a free phone consultation and can be reached at (212) 300-0375. One of our available attorneys will let you know if it is a matter we can assist you with. Additional information on this topic can be browsed on our webpage.