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U.S. Supreme Court Prohibits Discrimination Against LGBTQ Employees

U.S. Supreme Court Prohibits Discrimination Against LGBTQ Employees

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Title VII’s prevention of employment discrimination based on sex applies to both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Before now, it was not clear whether "sex" was describing sexual orientation and gender identity. Traditionally, "sex" has been defined as a person's characteristic of being male or female, sexual orientation generally concerns one's physical attraction to another person, and gender identity is based on the personal sense or expression of one's own gender. The Supreme Court's decision ruled that, although "sex" can be different from sexual identity and sexual orientation, these three concepts are very much connected, and therefore "sex" should include sexual orientation and gender identity for Title VII to be implemented. 

The Supreme Court based its decision based on three past workplace discrimination cases: Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, and G & GR Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC. The three employees in these cases filed suits alleging that they were illegally terminated in violation of Title VII. According to the Court, “An employer who discriminates against homosexual or transgender employees necessarily and intentionally applies sex-based rules.” This is a pivotal decision and a huge victory for the LGBTQ community and equality.

Employers will want to review all of their policies and practices to ensure full compliance with the ruling. The vast majority of employers is that it is now crystal clear that Title VII’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex include gay and transgender individuals. 

This information provided on this website is meant to provide general information and does not constitute as legal/ medical advice.

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