Coleman v. AmeriHealth Caritas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85319 (E.D. Pa. Jun. 2, 2017)

Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted motion to dismiss, finding that sexual orientation discrimination claim is not actionable under Title VII.

The district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was tasked to determine whether the plaintiff, who alleged that he was subjected to gay slurs and physically assaulted at the workplace, could sustain a Title VII claim premised upon sexual orientation discrimination. In determining that the plaintiff’s claim failed as a matter of law, the court noted that the “[u]se of gay slurs indicates that a ‘claim is based upon discrimination that is motivated by perceived sexual orientation.’” While the court observed that the comments cited by the plaintiff would be unacceptable in the workplace and that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently “[r]eexamined its interpretation of Title VII and determined that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination,” it ultimately determined that the Third Circuit precedent did not recognize a claim for sexual orientation discrimination pursuant to Title VII and that it was bound to follow the precedent within the Third Circuit. In noting that the court would dismiss the “[c]laim for sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII with prejudice, it [did] so with the recognition that ‘the nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our times.’” 


Case Law Alerts, 3rd Quarter, July 2017

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2017 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.