How the Recent SCOTUS Ruling Adds Federal Workplace Protections for LGBTQ Community

Workplace discrimination

Our Los Angeles Discrimination Attorneys Explain the Implications

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on an extremely important case last month, Bostock v. Clayton County, that adds federal workplace protections for the LGBTQ community. Transgender and sexual orientation discrimination are now illegal under federal law. 

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States confirmed that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects from workplace discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Title VII’s protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity. 

According to Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the opinion of the Court, it is impossible to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity without also discriminating on the basis of sex.

In his opinion, Gorsuch writes, “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.”

The ruling arose from a case involving workplace discrimination in Clayton, Georgia. Plaintiff Gerald Bostock’s employer fired him after he joined a gay softball league. Bostock filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC launched an investigation and issued a right to sue letter. 

Bostock’s case eventually went before the Eleventh Circuit, which ruled that Title VII does not extend workplace discrimination protections to workers based on sexual orientation. After the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling, Bostock petitioned SCOTUS. The court consolidated Bostock’s case with two other cases, Zarda v. Altitude Express and EEOC v. R.G. &. G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. Two cases, including Bostock’s, involved sexual orientation discrimination. The third case involved gender identity discrimination.

What Are the Implications of Bostock v. Clayton County in California?

Gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination were already illegal in California before this ruling. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) forbids employers from firing, failing to hire, demoting or engaging in other discriminatory acts against same-sex and/or transgender workers

FEHA has broad protections against workplace discrimination. The law not only requires California employers to undergo harassment training, it protects a large variety of people.

Workers affected by discrimination may notify the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) or EEOC to file a claim. After a claim is filed, the department may investigate the claim and potentially issue a right to sue letter. You can learn more about workplace discrimination and the process for filing a claim on our website. If you have questions about your workplace rights, contact our discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles for more information. 

Contact Our Discrimination Lawyers in Los Angeles for a Free Consult

Are you facing sex discrimination at work? Our discrimination lawyers in Los Angeles may be able to help you with a claim against your employer. Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. can help you with the claims process or with filing a lawsuit. 

Compensation from a lawsuit can help pay damages, such as lost income, damage to your professional reputation, and pain and suffering.  

Our Los Angeles employment law firm can help you determine whether you have legal options you could pursue against your employer during a free consultation. To schedule a consultation with us, dial (310) 273-3180 or use the contact form on our website.

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