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Employment Attorney Billy Hammel says Firms Should Learn from Chick-fil-A Tumult
September 5, 2012

While the Chick-fil-A maelstrom over gay marriage finally may be in the general public's rearview mirror, employers still might find themselves vulnerable to lawsuits if such debates are allowed to rage at the workplace, says Dallas employment attorney Billy Hammel. "Neither Title VII of the Civil Rights Act nor Texas state law recognizes sexual orientation as a characteristic that's protected from discrimination," says Hammel, a partner at Constangy Brooks & Smith LLP. "However, an experienced employee-side attorney could assert retaliation claims following such workplace debates in a way that would probably be covered by Title VII," he says. For those wanting to avoid media firestorms like the one Chick-fil-A faced after its president and chief operating officer made statements against gay marriage, Hammel advises companies to enact policies that outline what types of public comments are permissible for all employees. For more information, contact Dave Moore at 800-559-4534 or

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