On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals against employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
What You Need to Know
Employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against employees and/or job applicants based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. In past rulings, federal courts have held that Title VII only applies to traditional contexts of gender. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia reverses previous rulings stating that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited under the sex discrimination clause of Title VII.
Further, employers who take adverse action against an individual who identifies as gay or transgender only partially because of that individual’s sex, the action still violates Title VII. This ruling aligns with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s current Title VII enforcement policies and state laws may already have sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination prohibitions in place.
What Employers Should Do
Employers should review current employment policies to ensure they do not discriminate against individuals due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
If you have questions, please reach out to your HR representative.