Breaking EPL News!

In Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13746, **54-56 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016), the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision granting defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s Title VII sexual orientation claim based on the doctrine of stare decisis – relying on the jurisdiction’s precedent determining that Title VII does not protect against same-sex discrimination.  In doing so, however, the court made clear its reservations, noting the incongruity whereby a same-sex couple can marry legally in the United States on a Saturday and be fired on Monday for having done so.  The court’s conclusion is instructive:

Perhaps the writing is on the wall. It seems unlikely that our society can continue to condone a legal structure in which employees can be fired, harassed, demeaned, singled out for undesirable tasks, paid lower wages, demoted, passed over for promotions, and otherwise discriminated against solely based on who they date, love, or marry. The agency tasked with enforcing Title VII does not condone it … many of the federal courts to consider the matter have stated that they do not condone it … and this court undoubtedly does not condone it…. But writing on the wall is not enough. Until the writing comes in the form of a Supreme Court opinion or new legislation, we must adhere to the writing of our prior precedent, and therefore, the decision of the district court is AFFIRMED.