Only days ago, it was legal in nearly half of the United States for employers to discriminate against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identify. A decision issued Monday by the United States Supreme Court extended protections against discrimination in the workplace to gay and transgender individuals in all 50 states.
The decision said that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does protect gay and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace. The case centered on whether the text “because of sex” in Title VII broadly covered sexual orientation and gender identify or only applied to discrimination based on a worker’s status as a man or a woman.
Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the decision which said “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.”
Sadly, Monday’s ruling will not eliminate discrimination. Some employers will continue to break the rules. If you face discrimination in the workplace as a result of your sexual orientation or your gender identity, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced employment law attorney who can help you protect your rights.