Fair Housing Act

Condominium's policy of segregating pool hours by gender violates fair housing laws

The Third Circuit held that a condo association that adopted sex-segregated pool hours to accommodate its Orthodox Jewish residents in an "over-55" age-restricted condominum violated the Fair Housing Act both by denying access to the common area based on sex and by giving women only 3.5 hours to swim on weeknights compared to 16.5...

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Seventh Circuit holds that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation

Extending a former precedent concerning employment discrimination, Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, 853 F.3d 339 (7th Cir. 2017), a three judge panel of the Seventh Circuit has held that discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew... Read more about Seventh Circuit holds that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation

Landlord does not commit disability discrimination when refusing to allow a tenant to keep an aggressive dog

The Fair Housing Act requires landlords to avoid discrimination because of disability and to reasonably accommodate the needs of tenants by changing policies or practices to enable access to housing by persons with disabilities. However, accommodation is not required if it will pose a "direct threat" to the health or safety of others. This means that a landlord with a "no pets" policy must allow a tenant to keep an assistance animal unless doing so would...

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First Amendment protects right to federal registration of offensive trademarks that disparage a person or group

The Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits enforcement of a provision of the Lanham Act that purports to deny the benefits of trademark registration to names or marks that "disparage" a person or "bring [them] into contempt or disrepute." Matal v. Tam,2017 WL 2621315 (U.S. 2017); 15 U.S.C. §1502(a) (Lanham Act). The Court held that "this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First...

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Seventh Circuit holds that transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination

Applying Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a three judge panel of the Seventh Circuit has ruled that a school must allow a transgender boy to use the boy's bathroom, holding that discrimination on the basis of gender idenitty is a form of sex discrimination. Whitaker v....

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Sexual orientation discrimination as a form of sex discrimination

While the West Virginia Supreme Court adopted the traditional view that discrimination because of sexual orientation is not a form of sex discrimination, State v. Butler, 2017 W. Va. LEXIS 333 (W.Va. 2017) (hate crime against two gay men did not constitute criminal civil rights violation willfully injuring a person "because of such other person's … sex"), the Seventh Circuit came to the...

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Another court holds that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination

A federal district court has held that discrimination because of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination. EEOC v. Scott Med. Health Ctr., P.C., 2016 U.S. DIst. LEXIS 153744 (W.D. Pa. 2016). Plaintiff complained of a sexually hostile work environment by deriding his sexual orientation. The court noted that "[t]here is no more obvious form of sex stereotyping than making a detemination that a person should...

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Courts wrestle with sexual orientation discrimination

The law of sex discrimination has long suffered under the problem of distinguishing between discrimination based on sex and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia, as well as over one hundred municipalities, have laws prohibiting discrimination in the housing market on the basis of sexual orientation. Those jurisdictions include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon,...

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HUD Guidance on discriminatory refusals to rent to tenants with criminal records

Now that the Supreme Court has definitively found that the federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3601-3631, prohibits practices that have a disparate impact on protected groups, see Tex. Dept of Hous. & Comty. Affairs v. Inclusive Comtys. Project, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2507 (U.S. 2015), consequences of that decision are becoming more clear. On April 4, 2016, the Office of General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development...

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