Document Type


Publication Date

May 2018


Since 2006, the Illinois Human Rights Act has prohibited discrimination in employment because of an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Until 2017, employees discriminated against because of their sexual orientation had no federal cause of action, however. In a landmark decision, Hively v. Ivy Tech, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first appellate court to hold that federal law’s prohibition of sex discrimination in the workplace also proscribed sexual orientation discrimination. The Hively decision is a substantial departure from decades’ worth of Seventh Circuit precedent and created a split between the circuits. This Article examines the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation of Title VII and how it may auger the future of sexual orientation discrimination claims under federal law.