NWLC filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that requests full panel review of a case and argue that sexual orientation is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The brief was joined by 12 other organizations.
The brief supports the employee in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group. Matthew Christiansen, an advertising agency employee, alleged that his supervisor created a hostile work environment and damaged Christiansen’s reputation because of his sexual orientation. The supervisor routinely humiliated Christiansen with inappropriate and vulgar drawings and public comments, disparaging him for being gay and insinuating that he had AIDS.
The request for full panel review asks the Second Circuit to reconsider its outdated decision from 2000 in Simonton v. Runyon, where it held that harassment on the basis of sexual orientation is not sex-based discrimination prohibited by Title VII.