Does the Arkansas Civil Rights Act protect against sexual orientation discrimination?

This is a controversial question that has not yet been taken up by the Arkansas Supreme Court since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made it clear that it would begin investing sexual orientation discrimination claims as sex discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in it February 2015 filed memo found here.  Even though the Court has not yet taken this up this issue, the Arkansas Supreme Court has repeatedly made it clear that it uses interpretations of Title VII in order to interpret Arkansas’ own Civil Rights Act as the two acts are so closely related.  If a federal court in Arkansas or within the Eighth Circuit (and to a lesser extent elsewhere) specifically agrees with the EEOC’s interpretation of sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII, it would conceivable lead to full coverage from such discrimination under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act as well.

About James M. Scurlock

I practice law in the state and federal courts of both Tennessee and Arkansas. I have associations with attorneys practicing in Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

I have extensive involvement in litigation in the areas of contract, employment, and civil rights law.

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