Stating a Title VII Claim for Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: The Legal Theories Available After Rene v. MGM Grand Hotel


No federal statute explicitly authorizes victims of workplace sexual orientation discrimination to sue their employers for damages. Nevertheless, many such victims have advanced novel legal theories that analyze sexual orientation discrimination as a kind of sex discrimination, thus bringing sexual orientation discrimination within the protection of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Comment analyzes some of these legal theories, and discusses in detail the recent case of Rene v. MGM Grand Hotel, in which the Ninth Circuit held that a victim of sexual orientation discrimination adequately had stated a Title VII claim. Ultimately, however, this Comment urges plaintiffs and courts to abandon the legal theories already in use and to adopt in their place a more inclusive theory based on interracial relationship discrimination.

About the Author

Editor, UCLA Law Review, Volume 51. J.D. Candidate, UCLA School of Law, 2004; B.A., UCLA, 2001.

By uclalaw