14 Jul Supreme Court Ruling on protecting LGBTQ Individuals against Workplace Discrimination
On June 15, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited sexual orientation and transgender status based discrimination. The Court interpreted Title VII’s prohibition to include both sexual orientation and transgender discrimination. This means more protection for LGBTQ employees in the workplace.
Here are some of the highlights of this ruling.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 years and older), disability, or genetic information. It also prevents retaliation against an employee who opposes discriminatory employment practices or participates in an employment discrimination proceeding.
- The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has included discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation under Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination. Title VII is a federal law and the protection applies regardless of any contrary state or local laws.
- Employees, who have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, may now file a workplace discrimination claim,under sex discrimination, through the EEOC. In the claim of sex discrimination, the employee must offer evidence demonstrating the employer’s illegal conduct. The employer can respond with non-discriminatory reasons for their conduct.
- Once a Charge of Discrimination is filed by an employee, the EEOC conducts an investigation into the case. If the EEOC finds reasonable cause to believe discrimination, it first seeks a voluntary resolution between the parties. If a voluntary resolution is not achieved, the can file suit in federal court. The employee may obtain a right to sue letter from the EEOC in order to file their own claim of discrimination in court.