LGBTQ Employees Protected From Discrimination Under Federal Law | Legal Update

Today, in a landmark case, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that the 1964 Civil Rights Act barring sex discrimination in the workplace also protects LGBTQ employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation.

There, in Title VII, Congress outlawed discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. 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.

JUSTICE GORSUCH

The court’s decision came about after several cases were brought forth by gay and transgender employees.

  • Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia
  • Altitude Express Inc c. Melissa Zarda & Willian Allen Moore, Jr.
  • R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.

JUSTICE GORSUCH

Read the full opinion here.

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