“A Victory for Common Sense” – Second Circuit Upholds LGBT Employee Rights

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

In a victory for equality in the workplace, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit this morning held that the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment. This ruling legally affirms the sentiment behind a petition that Viacom and 49 other major companies signed last summer.

“This ruling affirms the strong stand we have taken at Viacom – that there is no room in the workplace for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” said Viacom Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs Rick Baker. “This is a victory for equality, for the LGBT community, for businesses at large, and for common sense.”

The Second Circuit’s conclusion that Altitude Express, a skydiving company, unjustly fired a former instructor when it learned of his sexual orientation echoes a 2017 decision by the Seventh Circuit, which concluded that a community college in Indiana had wrongfully terminated a teacher because she was a lesbian.

Viacom will continue to join Freedom for All Americans, a bipartisan group that the company worked with on its petition, to monitor legal developments around the issue of LGBT rights in the workplace.