Just last month the United States Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination.
Despite the importance of this decision, we cautioned that the ruling would not completely eliminate discrimination or the other challenges that LGBTQ employees and applicants for employment face in the workplace.
Surveys of employees during the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the difficulties LGBTQ employees continue to encounter in an unstable economy. According to Business Insider, the results of these surveys “show that LGBTQ workers across the country are more likely to lose their jobs as a result of the economic disruption brought on by COVID-19 lockdowns and social-distancing measures.” The consequences can be devastating both to employees and their families causing mental and physical health issues and loss of financial stability.
A study by Glassdoor showed that many LGBTQ workers experience discrimination on the job. The instability of COVID-19 did not create the employment minefield facing these workers, but it has made their employment situation substantially worse.
What Is the Answer?
June’s Supreme Court decision providing LGBTQ and transgender workers protection from such discrimination is even more important in the face of additional COVID challenges. Backed by the law, victims of discrimination may feel more confident in coming forward to assert their rights in the competitive labor market. However, as the Supreme Court’s decision gradually takes effect among employers hostile to LGBTQ employment rights, it is still important for all employees to be vigilant and report incidents of workplace discrimination.
If you believe you, a colleague, friend or member of your family have been a victim of discrimination as a result of your gender identity or sexual orientation, seek the advice of an experienced civil rights and employment attorney who can protect you from the damage the law was designed to prevent.