Today, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the first lawsuit filed by the Trump administration under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, and religion. DOJ enforces Title VII against state and local government employers.
The lawsuit alleges that the Houston Fire Department violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it subjected two female firefighters to sexual harassment. The news of the lawsuit coincided with the announcement of a new DOJ initiative to combat sexual harassment in the workplace—the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Initiative (SHWI).
This lawsuit against the City of Houston follows criticism from civil rights advocates over the fact that the current administration had not filed any Title VII lawsuits. Now that the first one has been filed, it will be interesting to see whether DOJ will begin to file Title VII lawsuits at an increased frequency.