In a historic landmark 6-3 decision issued earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition against sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to sexual orientation and gender identity. According to the majority opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, Title VII’s unambiguous language makes it impossible to discriminate against a person due to his or her sexual orientation or transgender status without discriminating on the basis of sex. Because “homosexuality or transgender status are inextricably bound up with sex,” employers cannot make a decision on such traits without taking into consideration a person’s sex – an action that is prohibited by Title VII.
The ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, GA , No. 17-1618 (U.S. June 15, 2020), settles the longstanding legal debate as to whether “sex” under Title VII affords protection to LGBT+ individuals. Although sexual orientation and gender identity were not included as protected characteristics when Title VII was enacted, the Court observes that the “limits of the drafter’s imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.”
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.