Donald Zarda was fired from his skydiving instructor job because of his sexuality. PHOTO CREDIT: Melissa Zarda / AP via The Charlotte Observer
Until this week, employers could arguably still fire someone for being gay. Although it’s 2018, sexual orientation was not considered to fall under sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A federal appeals court just ruled that companies cannot fire employees just because they're gay. This is on account that discriminating against their sexual orientation is indeed considered sex discrimination.
The case involves a skydiving instructor and his firing back in 2010. He was about to jump tandem with a woman who was nervous, so he reassured her that she didn't need to worry about being tied together closely as he was “100% gay.” The woman’s boyfriend reported this comment and the company fired him thereafter.
The instructor sued the company and the case has been working its way through courts of appeals for years. If the company decides to appeal this latest decision, it will move on to the Supreme Court where its fate is uncertain due to the conservative nature of the current judges.