Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII

     The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that firing employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex.  Title VII applies to most employers in the United States with fifteen or more employees.  The Court ruled that when employers fire employees who are homosexual or transgender, that employer “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 Court reasoned that it is not possible for an employer to make an employment decision based on an employee’s sexual orientation without considering sex.  Since 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has forbidden employers from discriminating against its employees because of their sex.  Simply put, when Title VII applies, employers cannot fire an employee because they are gay, lesbian, or transgender.  This applies even to employment decisions that occurred prior to the date of the Supreme Court’s opinion.  The full opinion can be found at this link:  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf

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