The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a case involving Jameka Evans, a security guard harassed and forced from her job because she is gay.
Reuters reports: “The justices left in place a lower court ruling against Jameka Evans, who had argued that workplace sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Workplace protections are a major source of concern for advocates of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
In April of 2015, Evans filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia against her former employer, Georgia Regional Hospital, arguing that the hospital violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against her because of her sexual orientation and her nonconformity with gender norms of appearance and demeanor. The district court dismissed the case.
In January of last year, Lambda Legal filed an appeal on Evans’ behalf, arguing that she must have her day in court, citing rulings by several federal district courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finding that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and thereby a prohibited employment practice.
On March 10, 2017, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit held that it was compelled by a 1979 ruling to reject Evans’ sexual orientation discrimination claim.
Lambda Legal asked the whole court to rehear the case so that it could reexamine the 1979 precedent, but unlike the Seventh Circuit and Second Circuit, the full Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declined to rehear the case on July 6.
SCOTUS decided to let the lower court ruling stand.