Supreme Court Extends Workplace Protection to LGBTQ Employees
In a timely decision issued during pride month, on June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision protecting the workplace rights of LGBTQ employees. In Bostock v. Clayton County, GA, the Supreme Court held that LGBTQ employees are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal to take an action against an employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that when an employer fires an employee for being LGBTQ, it necessarily intentionally discriminates against the employee on the basis of sex, in violation of Title VII. Sadly, two of the plaintiffs who brought this suit did not live long enough to realize the impact that their tremendous bravery and tenacity would have upon the workplace protection of LGBTQ workers. See the following links for the stories of Aimee Stephens and Donald Zarda, who did not live to see this decision, and of Gerald Bostock's reaction to the Court's decision.
As per the EEOC's 2015 Guidance regarding protections for LGBTQ workers, the EEOC has long interpreted Title VII's prohibition of sex discrimination as also prohibiting any discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The employment protections that the EEOC had previously extended to LGBTQ employees by interpretation have now been firmly reinforced by the landmark decision in the Bostock case. For LGBTQ federal employees this opinion provides further support and protection against discrimination.
Our office has always been firm in the belief of the dignity of all workers, and strong in its support of LGBTQ individuals. If you are a federal government employee who has been subjected to discrimination, please contact our office online or via telephone at (301) 869-8774 to schedule a consultation.
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