Supreme Court Issues Landmark Ruling That LGBTQ Employees Are Protected From Workplace Discrimination

The Supreme Court ruled today in a landmark decision that civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from harassment and discrimination at work. At issue was whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a law that protects workers from discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex, protected LGBTQ workers.  It involved a consolidation of three cases where employers fired a long-term employee simply for being gay or transgender. The first involved a person who was terminated for joining a gay softball league after dedicating a decade to providing services as a child welfare advocate. The second involved a skydiving instructor who mentioned he was gay and was fired. And in the third, a funeral home fired a transgender woman for coming out to her employer.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court found that even if other factors may have played a role in the employer’s decision, if discrimination on the basis of being gay or transgender played any role, the employer has violated Title VII. This ruling comes during pride month and is a significant victory for gay and transgender workers.

The case is entitled, Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (Sup. Ct. June 15, 2020).

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