Federal Protections for LGBTQ Employees

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a landmark ruling that settled the question of whether Title VII protected LGBTQ employees from discrimination and harassment at work. In the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, SCOTUS ruled that sex and gender protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does inherently cover sexual orientation and gender identity as protected factors.

California has long had its own state protections for LGBTQ employees, though nearly half of the states had no such protections in place. This left millions of LGBTQ employees across the United States vulnerable to blatant discrimination and harassment at work, without any legal recourse. Now, however, the federal protections extend to all employees across the U.S.

The case involved three consolidated cases filed by:

  • A male county employee who was fired for participating on a gay softball team
  • A transgender woman who was fired from a funeral home when she began presenting as a woman
  • A male skydive instructor who was fired after he informed a customer he was gay

In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that all of the above terminations violated Title VII, as employers cannot separate sexual orientation and gender identity from sex and gender discrimination. This ruling did not address additional issues, such as whether transgender individuals have the right to use certain bathrooms.

Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer in Los Angeles

If you experience discrimination or harassment at work due to your sexual orientation or gender identity, you now have recourse at the federal level, as well as with the State of California. These cases can be complex, so you want to seek help from a Los Angeles employment attorney at Martin & Bontrager, APC. Call 323.940.1700 or contact us online to discuss your rights today.