Recent Developments in Title VII Jurisprudence Regarding LGBT Employees

(250 Ratings)

Produced on: June 23, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Advanced

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., as amended, provides protection to employees from illegal discrimination and retaliation in the workplace on the basis of, among other protected categories, “gender” or “sex.” For decades, the Circuit Courts have all uniformly held that protection on the basis of sex under Title VII does not encompass sexual orientation discrimination claims, thereby preventing LGBT employees from mounting successful Title VII gender-related claims to remedy homophobia in the workplace. However, recent developments at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and in reported cases at the district and circuit court level suggest that the courts may be re-thinking the narrow view of gender that has informed federal case law on this issue for so long.

This course, presented by Daniela Nanau, an experienced NYC-based plaintiff-side employment lawyer, provides a summary of recent cases that expand Title VII’s definition of gender, and understanding of gender discrimination, to afford protection to LGBT workers. The course begins with a focus on the 2012 decision in Macy v. Holder where the EEOC held, for the first time, that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination for the purposes of Title VII, and how this decision has benefitted transgender employees who have litigated under Title VII in the district courts. The course will also focus on recent circuit court cases, with particular emphasis on the Second and Fourth Circuits, where several appeals are now pending that seek to expand the definition of gender discrimination to encompass sexual orientation claims brought on behalf of LGBT employees.

The cases to be discussed will include Hively v. Ivy Tech. Community College, a sexual orientation case that was dismissed by a three-member panel of the Fourth Circuit, which the Seventh Circuit then sua sponte reversed and vacated, and also decided to rehear en banc on November 30, 2016. Other cases will include Zarda v. Altitude Express and Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, two cases where oral argument was held before the Second Circuit in January 2017, where the plaintiffs argued that Title VII protects against sexual orientation discrimination.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Review EEOC’s 2012 decision in Macy v. Holder, and progeny, that now afford transgender workers protection under Title VII
  2. Gain insight into recently argued Fourth and Second Circuit cases where the plaintiffs are challenging the narrow reading of “sex” under Title VII and arguing that Title VII protects against sexual orientation discrimination
  3. Discuss developments at the district court level in other Circuits
  4. Provide practical guidance to attorneys evaluating potential claims on behalf of LGBT workers in light of recent developments


Daniela Nanau

Law Offices of Daniela Nanau, P.C.

Daniela Nanau, principal attorney at the Law Office of Daniela Nanau, P.C., is an employment and civil rights lawyer based in New York City. She litigates individual cases, as well as collective and class actions, on behalf of employees who have experienced discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation and wage and hour violations. She also has significant experience representing students and tenants in federal actions involving racial and sexual harassment. Ms. Nanau earned her B. A. from Reed College and her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School. Daniela is a Board member of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association, New York Chapter, the largest America bar organization focused on the practice of plaintiff-side employment law and provides pro bono representation to individuals at El Centro de Educación de Trabajadores, a community center serving immigrants in Hell’s Kitchen.

Before law school, Ms. Nanau served as a paralegal in the White House Counsel’s Office and as the Associate Director of Research for the First Lady during the Clinton Administration. She also worked for several members of Congress in policy-related positions. Notable cases include USA v. Barnason, 10 Civ. 3335 (S.D.N.Y. 2012) (lead trial attorney representing five intervenor-plaintiffs in Fair Housing Act sexual harassment case that settled for $2.1 million, the largest settlement for harassment-related violations under FHA to date).


Lauren G.

This was the best CLE course I have ever taken. I hope you get Daniela N. to do more CLE credits! VERY THOROUGH and WELL PRESENTED

Jessie P.

Love the commitment to this area from the presenter!

Misty H.

The presenter was clearly very passionate about this developing area of law.

Mark M.

Really interesting presentation. Hour flew by fast.

Lynne C.

Daniela Nanau is an excellent presenter. Very clear and easy to follow.

Jeffery D.

Practical and helpful

Lesa C.

Good course.

Phillip H.

Very organized; information-dense. Very good presenter. Much better than the last course I took.

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$ 59 Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination & Harassment, Civil Rights, and Public Interest Law In Stock


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