Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital
Lambda Legal asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case of Jameka Evans, a Savannah security guard who was harassed at work and forced from her job because she is a lesbian. The petition seeks a nationwide ruling that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
In April 2015, Evans filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia against her former employer, Georgia Regional Hospital, claiming the hospital was violating 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 Ms. Evans’s complaint, arguing that Title VII does not protect employees from such discrimination. Lambda Legal appealed that ruling to the Eleventh Circuit, arguing that Evans must have her day in court because sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII. But, the three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit denied Evans’ claim in early March 2017.
For years, Lambda Legal has been explaining to courts that Title VII, when properly understood, protects LGBT employees. Three of Lambda Legal’s successful efforts in 2014, in federal courts in Seattle, Chicago, and Washington D.C., were cited by the EEOC in Baldwin v. Foxx. In April 2017, Lambda Legal secured a victory at the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law. The ruling came on behalf of Kim Hively, a college instructor fired from her job for being a lesbian, whose similar Title VII claim was also initially dismissed by a federal district court in Indiana.
- January 2016 Lambda Legal files appeal with the U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
- March 10, 2017 Eleventh Circuit affirms a lower district court’s ruling dismissing the lawsuit.
- March 31, 2017 Lambda Legal asks full Eleventh Circuit to rehear Evans’s case.
- July 7, 2017 Lambda Legal announces it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied its en banc petition asking that the full Court rehear the case.
- September 7, 2017 Lambda Legal asks the Supreme Court of the Untied States to review the case.
- October 10, 2017 76 businesses and organizations, 17 anti-discrimination legal scholars and 11 LGBTQ organizations ask the Supreme Court to review the case.
- October 11, 2017 18 state attorney generals file brief in support of Jameka Evans’s petition.
- December 11, 2017 Supreme Court denies to hear appeal.