On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sex discrimination protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extend to LGBT employees.
In the 6-3 decision, conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberal justices.
The Court ruled in two cases; one in which Aimee Stephens, a funeral director, was fired after informing her boss that she was transgender. And the other was a consolidated case in which Gerald Bostock, a county child welfare services coordinator, and Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor, were fired for being gay.
Employers, backed by the Trump administration, argued that when Congress enacted Title VII, it was never intended to include gay and transgender protections.
“Congress adopted broad language…” Gorsuch contended in the Court’s Opinion. “An 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. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
StraightforWARD Legal Advice:
This decision will impact many employers throughout the nation (over half of states don’t have statutes protecting workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity). With this in mind, employers should reevaluate their workplace policies and hiring/ firing procedures to ensure they are in compliance with Monday’s decision. For help with reviewing and updating your company’s employee handbook to properly include this new decision on LGBT rights, please contact Jennifer Ward at 215-647-6601 or email@example.com.