In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 15, 2020 that the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. Title VII forbids employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex aswell as gender, race, color, national origin and religion.
Justice Neil Gorsuch authored the opinion, and explained that “[t]he only question before [the Court] is whether an employer who fires someone for being homosexual or transgender has discharged or otherwise discriminated against that individual because of such individual’s sex.” In concluding that such an action would be discrimination, Justice Gorsuch explained that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” He went on to explain that “[a]n employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.” Therefore, “Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on sex,should be understood to include sexual orientation and gender identity” and “[a]nemployer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.”
Until this decision, it was legal in over 25 states to terminate employees for being gay, bisexual or transgender. Now, members of the LGBT community will benefit from the same protections as all other employees in the workplace.
The case is Bostoc v. Clayton County, Georgia. The complete opinion can be found at the following link: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf .
If you want to learn about your rights, please contact The Shavitz Law Group at [email protected] or at 800-616-4000 for a free consultation. We would be happy to assist you in a free consultation to discuss your employment concerns.
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