Fed. Court Vacates Sexual-Orientation Bias Ruling, To Rehear Case

11 Oct Fed. Court Vacates Sexual-Orientation Bias Ruling, To Rehear Case

The lawsuit claims Ivy Tech didn't hire the woman because she's a lesbian.

Photo: Ivy Tech Community College

The lawsuit claims Ivy Tech didn’t hire the woman because she’s a lesbian.

A federal court of appeals in Chicago has vacated a decision by three of its own judges who ruled this summer in an Indiana case that federal workplace-discrimination law doesn’t cover sexual-orientation bias and ordered a rehearing of the issue by the full court.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced the action Tuesday. Such rehearings are rare and can indicate some judges believe the initial ruling was flawed.

A former part-time instructor in South Bend, Kimberly Hively, accused Ivy Tech Community College in her suit of not hiring her full-time because she is lesbian.

The three-judge panel’s July ruling sharply criticized the lack sexual-orientation workplace protections in U.S. law. But it said it was clear those protections don’t currently exist and so the suit should be tossed.

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