Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Co., No. 18-20251 (5th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
In Blum v. Gulf Oil Corp., 597 F.2d 936 (5th Cir. 1979), the Fifth Circuit held that Title VII does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The court held that Blum remained binding precedent. Nonetheless, the court affirmed the district court's judgment in an action alleging that Phillips 66 discriminated against an employee based on the employee's transgender status. The court held that the district court correctly granted summary judgment for the employer because the employee failed to present sufficient evidence to support a prima facie case of discrimination, and because the employee failed to present a genuine issue of material fact concerning pretext. In this case, the employee did not present evidence that any non-transgender applicants were treated better, and Phillips 66 identified a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for rescinding the offer—namely, the employee's misrepresentations regarding her prior employment.