By: Jacqueline M. Woolley, Esq.
On Monday, June 15 the United States Supreme Court issued a momentous decision in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, declaring it unlawful for employers to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees in the workplace. The Court concluded that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), which protects individuals in the workplace from being discriminated against based on their sex, also protects LGBTQ workers because employers who discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity unlawfully rely on sex in their decision-making process.
Writing for the majority of the Court, Justice Gorsuch emphasized that “[f]ew facts are needed to appreciate the legal question we face. Each of the three cases before us started the same way: An employer fired a longtime employee shortly after the employee revealed that he or she is homosexual or transgender—and allegedly for no reason other than the employee’s homosexuality or transgender status.” He then went on to assert that “[I]n 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.”
If you have experienced conduct which you believe constitutes a hostile work environment based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, or you believe you have been treated differently or discriminated against at work because of your sexual orientation or gender identity with regard to the hiring process, your pay/wages, promotion or demotion decisions, your performance evaluation/assessments, discipline and/or termination, please contact one of the attorneys at The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.