Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, No. 15-15234 (11th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against her employer, alleging that she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation and gender non-conformity, and retaliated against after she lodged a complaint with her employer's human resources department. The district court dismissed her pro se complaint. The court held that discrimination based on failure to conform to a gender stereotype was sex-based discrimination. In this case, a gender non-conformity claim was not "just another way to claim discrimination based on sexual orientation," but instead constituted a separate, distinct avenue for relief under Title VII. Therefore, the court vacated the portion of the district court's order dismissing plaintiff's gender non-conformity claim with prejudice and remanded with instructions to grant plaintiff leave to amend such claim. The court concluded that binding precedent, Blum v. Gulf Oil Corp., foreclosed plaintiff's argument that she had stated a claim under Title VII by alleging that she endured workplace discrimination because of her sexual orientation. The Blum court held that discharge for homosexuality was not prohibited by Title VII. Therefore, the court affirmed the portion of the district court's order dismissing plaintiff's sexual orientation claim. Finally, the court considered any challenge to the district court's treatment of plaintiff's retaliation claim as waived. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.