Supreme Court Extends Protection to Gay and Transgender Employees

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to recognize that the prohibition against discrimination “on the basis of sex” under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (commonly referred to as “Title VII”) includes discrimination based on gay and transgender status in its opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County. Prior to this ruling, various states and local governments prohibited such discrimination, but it was not recognized under the federal statute that applies nationwide. This inconsistency left gay and transgender individuals in some states vulnerable to being fired simply for who they were, without any available legal remedies. The Supreme Court held that the plain language of the statute prohibits discrimination based on sex and that this includes discrimination based on gay or transgender status, effectively extending protection to all employees who work for employers employing at least 15 or more employees with few limited exceptions.

Justice Gorsuch, writing for the majority in Bostock, put the Court’s ruling in very clear terms: “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.” This ruling now means that vast majority of employees in every state who work for an employer with 15 or more employees can take legal action if they are terminated or otherwise discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment because they are gay or transgender. The employment lawyers at Minnillo & Jenkins are willing to provide a free, confidential, no obligation consultation to anyone who believes they have been subjected to unlawful discrimination in employment of any kind. We hold the concerns of our potential clients in the strictest confidence and are here to provide the best possible representation to anyone who has suffered unlawful discrimination.

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