As the latest news cycle reminds us, sexual harassment continues to plague American workplaces. In addition to affecting leadership confidence, employee morale, and public opinion, claims of sexual harassment carry with them another negative: Litigating sexual harassment claims is expensive.
Earlier this year, I predicted the issue of sexual-orientation discrimination was headed all the way to the United States Supreme Court. On September 7, 2017, the issue did, in fact, reach the Supreme Court when the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on behalf of Jameka Evans. Ms. Evans had sued her employer for allegedly firing her for being a lesbian.
The Obama Administration issued new regulations about overtime that were to take effect on December 1, 2016. Just before they were to take effect, a U.S. district court in Texas enjoined the regulations. So since about December 1, 2016, employers have been in legal limbo about what’s going to happen.
Odd, bizarre, contradictory, based on gossamer-thin distinctions—all these words have been used to describe the state of the law about employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.