Yesterday, June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (and two other consolidated case) that has been highly anticipated in the business community for years. The issue: Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity? In a 6-3 ruling, Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion answering this question, “YES.”
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.
This decision mends the divide among the circuits whose decisions varied widely on the subject.
These protected classes should be added to your policies and procedures if you haven’t already made the adjustments. You should train your managers and employees regarding discrimination and harassment generally and update them on this new development in the law. If you have questions on this or any other topic, please feel free to contact us.