Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Employment Discrimination

This Chapter will address the current protections that are available to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) individuals who allege they have been victims of employment discrimination. The Chapter’s primary focus will be on federal statutory law, particularly Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Although the focus here is on federal law, Appendix I to this Chapter lists the states that protect individuals from public and/or private discrimination under state laws.

Author of the Week: Professor Vincent Chiappetta from Willamette University College of Law

Professor Chiappetta joined the Willamette University College of Law faculty in 1997. He teaches property, intellectual property, antitrust, business lawyering and science, and technology and law. In 2013 and 2002, he received the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1999, he was named College of Law Teacher of the Year. He was the founding director for the Certificate Program in Law and Business. He currently serves as co-director of the Business Lawyering Institute on campus. Chiappetta was named a CALI Copyright Fellow in 2004 and a CALI Trademark Fellow in 2003.

Chiappetta has extensive practice experience, having served as vice president and general counsel for Tektronix Inc. (1993-1997), associate general counsel (Trademarks) for Levi Strauss & Co. (1992-1993) and associate general counsel (Europe, Africa, Middle East) for Apple Computer Inc. (1987-1991) in Paris, France. He also was a partner in the Meyer, Hendricks, Victor, Osborn & Maledon firm in Phoenix, Ariz., from 1977 to 1987 and from 1991 to 1992.

Chiappetta has worked on numerous high-technology and e-commerce legislative issues, serving as the chair of the Oregon Internet Commission and as a member of both the Oregon Higher Education Technology Transfer Board and the Oregon Bar Computer and Electronic Information Workgroup.

Chiappetta has been a visiting professor at Indiana University School of Law and at Arizona State University College of Law and has taught as an adjunct at Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law, as well as in Shanghai on Willamette’s China Program. He has taught courses in business organizations, business planning, sales, negotiations, banking law and European Union law.

He is admitted to the Arizona, California and Oregon State Bars and to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Bar.

Author of the Week: Professor Owen M. Fiss from Yale Law School

Owen Fiss is Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law of Yale University. He was educated at Dartmouth, Oxford, and Harvard. He clerked for Thurgood Marshall (when Marshall was a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) and later for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. He also served in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice from 1966 to 1968. Before coming to Yale, Professor Fiss taught at the University of Chicago. At Yale he teaches procedure, legal theory, and constitutional law.

Professor Fiss is the author of many articles and books, including The Civil Rights InjunctionTroubled Beginnings of the Modern StateLiberalism DividedThe Irony of Free SpeechA Community of EqualsA Way Out/America’s Ghettos and the Legacy of RacismAdjudication and its Alternatives (with Judith Resnik), The Law as it Could Be, and The Dictates of Justice/Essays on Law and Human Rights. His most recent books are A War Like No Other/The Constitution in a Time of Terror and Pillars of Justice/Lawyers and the Liberal Tradition.

Professor Fiss also participates in extensive Law School programs in Latin America and the Middle East and, along with Anthony Kronman, directs the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization. Professor Fiss is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and Universidad de Palermo (Buenos Aires). He was also awarded La distinción Sócrates from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá) and Profesor Visitante Distinguido at del Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.

Author of the Week: Professor Hillel Levin from the University of Georgia School of Law

Hillel Y. Levin joined the University of Georgia School of Law faculty in 2008 and was promoted to full professor in the fall of 2017. He teaches courses on education law and policy, constitutional law, legislation, administrative law and others.

Levin’s expertise lies in education law and policy, statutory interpretation, church/state issues, constitutional law and judicial process. His scholarship has been published in several leading law journals, and he is the author of a popular coursebook on statutory interpretation. He has also published and appeared in popular media, testified before the state legislature, done extensive consulting work, and been the lead author on a Supreme Court amicus brief. In addition, Levin serves on the advisory board of the peer-reviewed Education Law and Policy Review

Levin is the 2013 recipient of the law school’s C. Ronald Ellington Award for Excellence in Teaching. His innovative teaching methods have been recognized nationally and have earned him invitations to speak at conferences about teaching practical lawyering skills within the doctrinal classroom. He also serves as the director of Georgia Law in Atlanta, which houses the law school's growing Atlanta-based programs.

Levin came to UGA from Stanford Law School, where he served as a Stanford Law Fellow and instructor. Previously, he served as a judicial clerk for Judge Thomas J. Meskill of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and for Judge Robert N. Chatigny of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. He also specialized in complex litigation as an associate at Robinson & Cole.

He earned his B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Yeshiva University and his J.D. from Yale University, where he served as note and book note editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.

Author of the Week: Dean Lee Peoples from Oklahoma City University School of Law

Professor Peoples’ research and scholarship is focused on comparative law and on the impact of technology on legal research, the judiciary, and the law. He has published articles, books, and book chapters on these topics. Professor Peoples’ scholarship has been cited by appellate courts, in the leading comparative law casebook, in several treatises including Wright and Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure and by Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

He is co-founding editor of the Legal Information and Technology eJournal on SSRN and is an Editorial Board Member of Legal Information Review. He teaches advanced legal research classes, the Norick Municipal Law Research Clinic, and is a frequent lecturer in law school classes. Professor Peoples is active in professional organizations including the American Association of Law Libraries and Association of American Law Schools. He is past-president of the Mid-America Law Library Consortium and Mid-America Association of Law Libraries.

He served as the Director of International Programs for the School of Law from 2007-2010. In that position he developed the innovative Certificate in American Law Program. Prior to his appointment as Law Library Director in 2010 he served as Associate Director, Associate Director for Faculty and Research Services, and Head of Reference Services. Before joining the faculty Professor Peoples practiced law in Oklahoma City. He is admitted to practice in the State of Oklahoma, Western District of Oklahoma, and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Author of the Week: Professor Steven Chanenson from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

As the Director of the Villanova Sentencing Workshop and former Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, Steve Chanenson brings an innovative approach to the study of sentencing and criminal law. He teaches courses on sentencing, white-collar crime, criminal law and criminal procedure at Villanova. 

Professor Chanenson writes primarily in the areas of sentencing and criminal procedure with his works having been published in such journals as the Stanford Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Waseda Proceedings of Comparative Law, and Yale Law Journal Pocket Part. His scholarship and work on criminal sentencing, in particular, have gained him national recognition. Professor Chanenson has frequently spoken on sentencing before groups of judges, lawyers, and policy makers, including the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the annual Judicial Conference for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Federal Judicial Center. He has been quoted on the subject by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. 

Professor Chanenson was a Member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing for almost 14 years, having been appointed by three successive Governors of Pennsylvania. He was the elected Chair of the Commission from 2012 to 2015, the former Chair of the Commission’s Research Committee, and chaired the advisory committee for the Commission’s legislatively directed study of mandatory minimum sentences as well as its Strategic Planning Work Group. Appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Professor Chanenson also served on a committee that advised the Supreme Court on criminal justice reforms, including bail reform, for the First Judicial District (Philadelphia) criminal courts.

An elected member of the American Law Institute, Professor Chanenson is the Liaison from the National Association of Sentencing Commissions to the American Law Institute regarding efforts to revise the sentencing portions of the Model Penal Code. In addition, he is a Managing Editor of and frequent contributor to the Federal Sentencing Reporter (University of California Press/Vera Institute of Justice), the leading professional journal of brief commentary on sentencing law, theory, and reform.

Professor Chanenson was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Law during the 2008-09 academic year, teaching American law at Xiamen University School of Law in Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China. During his time abroad, he spoke on sentencing issues in several other cities in mainland China as well as in Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, and Australia. 

Professor Chanenson has been recognized for his dedication to public service. On behalf of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, Justice Clarence Thomas presented him with the Judge Joseph Stevens Award for Outstanding Public Service in the Field of Law in a June 2005 ceremony at the United States Supreme Court. He was previously named a Truman Scholar in 1986 in recognition of his commitment to public service. For much of the past decade, Professor Chanenson has been active in the Truman Scholar selection process, serving on both the Finalist Selection Committee and regional Selection Panels.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. in economics and M.S. in criminology), Professor Chanenson received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a Comment Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. He began his career as a clerk to the Honorable Phyllis A. Kravitch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He later clerked for the Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the United States. While at the Supreme Court, Professor Chanenson also served in the Chambers of the Honorable David H. Souter. As a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago, he helped defend, on a pro bono basis, a client charged with murder in state court. Professor Chanenson also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the Criminal Division in Chicago before joining the Villanova Law faculty.

Professor Chanenson was previously on the Board of Directors of JEVS Human Services, a non-profit, nonsectarian social service agency with a multi-million dollar annual budget. JEVS provides a broad range of services – from health and rehabilitation to skills training and job placement – that help people from all walks of life across the Greater Philadelphia community achieve their personal and employment goals.

Author of the Week: Professor Phillip Sparkes

Professor Sparkes received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law. He earned his Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Notre Dame Law School, studying at its London Law Centre. He is a member of the New York bar.

Sparkes teaches State and Local Government Law and Administrative Law. He came to Chase after a long career in state and local government. He is a former managing attorney in the New York State Department of State, New York's local government agency, and a former administrative law judge. In addition, he has written on the subject of unincorporated business organizations.

Author of the Week: Resa Kerns

Resa Kerns is the Associate Law Librarian for Emerging Technologies at the Univ. of Missouri-Columbia. She has taught first year Legal Research, and Advanced Legal Research. She works with other faculty members to integrate a variety of technology tools into their classrooms, and to supplement their classrooms. Resa received her B.A. degree from Kansas State University in 1984, her J.D. from the Univ. of Texas in 1987, and her Masters in Library Science in 1999. Prior to her career as a librarian, she practiced law in Austin, Texas.

Author of the Week: Professor Todd Venie

Todd Venie is the Associate Director of the Legal Information Center & Professor of Legal Research at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. Venie joined UF Law in 2013 as the Head of Research and Instruction, and has occupied his current position since July 2016. He teaches Legal Research, where students learn how to find relevant statutes and case law at the state and federal levels using both print and electronic formats. His previous positions include reference librarian at the Georgetown University Law Library and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Ohio’s Fairfield County. Venie has published several articles, with topics including affordable online sources of legal research and case law. He earned his J.D. degree at Ohio State University and his M.L.I.S. at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Author of the Week: Professor Len Biernat

Len Biernat is a Professor of Law at Mitchell | Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, teaching in the areas of Family Law, Education Law, Property Law, and Professional Responsibility. Prior to becoming a full time faculty member in 1985, he served as Assistant and Associate Dean for ten years. He earned degrees at Minnesota State University, B.S.; St. Thomas University, M.A.; Hamline University School of Law, J.D.; and New York University School of Law, L.L.M.. He served on several Minnesota Supreme Court Task forces in the areas of child support, visitation, and parent cooperation. He was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1997-2004 and was the chief author of major legislation in the area of Family Law. He has authored numerous articles, co-authored a book, "Legal Ethics for Management and Their Counsel" by Lexis publishing, and wrote a chapter on Federal Aid to Education in West's Federal Administrative Practice, by Thomson-West.

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