Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual in employment “because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Prior to this decision, U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals split as to whether the language “because of sex” included workplace protections for discrimination against gay or transgender people.
The Court writes:
Today we must decide whether an employer can fire someone for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. 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 decision makes clear that “homosexuality and transgender status are distinct concepts from sex.” However, “discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status necessarily entails discrimination based on sex; the first cannot happen without the second.”
Employers operating in the Pacific Northwest know that for many years, this type of discrimination has already been unlawful under Oregon and Washington state law. Now, those laws are joined by the U.S. Supreme Court.
For questions on how employers can adapt their anti-harassment and discrimination policies to the latest state and federal guidance or for workplace anti-harassment training, please contact Nicole Elgin at (503) 276-2109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. If this has been forwarded to you, and you would like to begin receiving Electronic Alerts directly, please email or call Traci Ray at 503-276-2115. Copyright ©2020 by Barran Liebman LLP.
Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2020 por Barran Liebman LLP.