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For many years the consensus among courts was that sexual orientation was not protected, and the Supreme Court has declined to rule on the issue. (Photo: David Handschuh/ALM)

As a practitioner in South Florida, I often defend businesses in the health care industry against employees’ claims of discrimination, including claims of discrimination based upon sexual orientation. Following two recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit involving Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers in the health care industry and elsewhere in Florida, Georgia and Alabama (states covered by the Eleventh Circuit) can expect to see fewer lawsuits asserting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, right?  Not necessarily. Employers would be well-advised to take, or continue to take, steps to insulate themselves from such claims.

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