Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Prohibited Under Federal Law

In what is seen as a big win for LGBT employment rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is a violation of Title VII of the civil rights act which protects employees from sex discrimination. “An employer that fires or otherwise discriminates against an employee merely for being gay or transgender defies the law,” said Justice Gorsuch in support of the decision.

The three cases before the court involved a man fired from his job after joining a gay softball league; another fired after mentioning he was gay; and a third involving a transgender employee who was fired after telling her employer “she would be identifying as a women six years into her employment”. The inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII focused on the language of the law which expressly prohibits discrimination because of sex – violations of the law found in all three cases.

“Millions of gay and lesbian Americans have worked hard for many decades to achieve equal treatment in fact and in law”, wrote another Justice. “They have exhibited extraordinary vision, tenacity, and grit—battling often steep odds in the legislative and judicial arenas, not to mention in their daily lives. They have advanced powerful policy arguments and can take pride in today’s result.”

Title VII of the civil rights act protects employees from discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation, race, color, religion, and national origin. If you have been discriminated against in your Iowa workplace, call515.989.8529 or email our employment discrimination attorneys at Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for a free consultation.