NewsPublic Affairs / October 12, 2016

Court Vacates Sexual-Orientation Bias Ruling; To Rehear Case

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 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. - Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 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.

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

CHICAGO (AP) — An appeals court 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, Indiana, Kimberly Hively, accused Ivy Tech Community College in her suit of not hiring her full-time because she's 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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