16 Jun BLOG from #ABKLaw Lawrence Spasojevich, Esq.: LANDMARK DECISION ESTABLISHING LGBTQ RIGHTS UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT
LANDMARK DECISION ESTABLISHING LGBTQ RIGHTS UNDER TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County extending the employment protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to sexual orientation, thus protecting LGBTQ individuals. Prior to this decision, many states, unlike New York, did not afford such protections to LGBTQ individuals. Because such states did not afford protections based upon sexual orientation and the Federal Law did not prohibit it, many LGBTQ individuals were subject to horrific discrimination in the work place.
This case addresses the following question: does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act afford protections based upon sexual orientation when it only mentions the word “sex.”
The Supreme Court found, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, a President Trump appointee, writing for the 6-3 majority, that the plain meaning of Title VII clearly extended such protections based upon sexual orientation as sex discrimination.
For this writer, this decision was no surprise and is clearly the correct decision. The simplest way to explain the decision is with this example: In many states, if a man is in a relationship with a woman, that is acceptable for some employers. However, if a man is in a relationship with another man, that is seen as taboo by other employers.
The Court held that an employer who fires an individual for being gay or transsexual violates the protection under Title VII. An example of the Court’s reasoning is as follows: an employer terminating an employee who identified as a man because he was in a relationship with a man was a violation of Title VII when the employer allowed an employee who identified as a woman to be in a relationship with a man.
It cannot be overstated what a truly landmark decision this is and a tremendous step forward for equality in the work place.
If you are experiencing a hostile work environment or harassment in the work place, please reach out to our office for consultation. If you have a particular legal matter that requires attention, please call or email our office at 212-486-0011 or Info@AidalaLaw.com
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