Missouri Court of Appeals Takes Big Step Forward on Anti-LGBTQ Employment Discrimination

By Adam Polaski • October 25, 2017 • 3:42 pm

A ruling this week from a panel of judges on the Missouri Court of Appeals marks a significant step forward for the fight for laws and policies prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A decision in Harold Lampley and Rene Frost,  Appellants, v. Missouri Commission On Human Rights, et al., Respondents. found that a man’s claim of employment discrimination amounted to discrimination based on sex stereotypes, which is prohibited under the Missouri Human Rights Act. Sex stereotyping is often the basis of anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

In Missouri, LGBTQ people have no explicit state-level protections from anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination, a block that has led to injustice for LGBTQ workers in the past. Just two years ago, the Pittman ruling at the Missouri Supreme Court essentially stated that despite facing clear anti-gay discrimination, a man had no legal recourse under state law because of a lack of non-discrimination protections.

PROMO, the statewide organization working toward LGBTQ equality in Missouri, wrote about today’s ruling online. They wrote:

The ruling does not change Missouri law; however, it is a huge historic step forward. This is an important step forward to protecting LGBT Missourians from discrimination in the workplace. We are grateful to see that the courts are recognizing LGBT discrimination for what it is — unlawful and wrong. But there is still work to be done in the legislature to ensure equal protection under the law in workplaces, housing, and public services. Now is the time to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act.

Follow the latest in LGBTQ-related litigation with our Litigation Tracker, here.

Ruling Courtesy of Equality Case Files.

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