The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex discrimination, and this applies to discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a recent Supreme Court Ruling.
In June of 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled that the decades-old landmark civil rights law does indeed protect gay and transgender workers from discrimination in the workplace, despite what some employers and government officials have argued. This is a major Supreme Court decision that has ramifications for workers in every state.
What Does This Decision Mean?
The 6-to-3 ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in June represents a monumental shift in employment law regarding transgender and LGBTQ rights in the workplace.
“An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law,” Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote for the majority in the 6-to-3 ruling.
This decision marks a continuing shift towards the recognition of the rights of LGBTQ individuals throughout the country, though this is the first major case the Court has ruled on concerning transgender rights.
Until this Supreme Court decision, employers in more than half of the states throughout the country were able to legally fire a person for being gay, bisexual, or transgender. While California employment laws have offered protections for LGBTQ employees, this is a major change for most people throughout the US.
The ruling was by no means a certainty and depended on a shift from two Justices that many consider to be more conservative-leaning, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch. The Court’s ruling indicates that a new era of transgender rights has begun in the United States.
The US Supreme Court usually never makes rulings that are too far out of line with popular opinion in the country. By and large, most Americans oppose employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. More than 200 major US companies filed a brief with the Court supporting transgender and gay employees in the cases before the Court.
In California, workers have extensive protection against discrimination based on any of the following:
- Genetic Information
- National Origin
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or gender expression
Our Team Is Ready To Help Your Case
If you or somebody you love has experienced discrimination in the workplace based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Both federal and state law now offers protections for workers in this situation, and the team at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers is ready to help. We will investigate your claim and work to secure any compensation you may be entitled to. This can include:
- Lost pay if you were demoted or fired
- Front pay for future lost wages
- Pain and suffering damages
- Reinstatement to your job more position (if applicable and necessary)
- Possible punitive damages against the employer
- Court costs and attorney’s fees