On May 3, 2017, HSPRD attorneys Juliet Berger-White and Charlie Wysong published the article, “Hively Strengthens Federal Claims for Gender Identity Discrimination.” Their article, which is published in the latest publication of the National Employment Lawyers Association/Illinois, provides an analysis of the Seventh Circuit’s groundbreaking decision of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 15-1720 (7th Cir. Apr. 4, 2017). In Hively, the Seventh Circuit held that Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as impermissible “sex” discrimination. This case establishes new legal protections for workers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Significantly, Hively provides a strong basis to argue that Title VII and Title IX also prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The Seventh Circuit is leading the nation in recognizing that federal civil rights laws protect a broad range of workers from discrimination. In this rapidly developing area of the law, employers should ensure that all policies and practices are inclusive of all employees and do not run afoul of federal or state anti-discrimination laws.
Juliet Berger-White and Charlie Wysong are lawyers with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. They represent clients in complex litigation matters, with a focus on labor and employment law, civil rights, and educational equity. In addition to their litigation practices, they also counsel individuals, non-profit institutions, and corporations on a range of employment and discrimination issues. Ms. Berger-White and Mr. Wysong have worked with students and school districts in addressing the issues that arise for transgender students and helped draft a model school policy for inclusion of such students in collaboration with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. In addition, Ms. Berger-White has previously spoken on best practices for providing healthcare to transgender and gender expansive patients.