Supreme Court Rules Title VII Protects LGBTQ Individuals

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 15 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 now prohibits employment discrimination and bias on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status. Specifically, the court indicated that Title VII covers employees who are “gay” or “transgender.”

What Employers Should Do as a Result:

Employers may wish to consider the following activities, as needed:

  • Reviewing written policies relating to non-discrimination, zero tolerance for harassment and equal employment.
  • Amending its equal employment opportunity policy to include:
      • A statement that it does not discriminate or retaliate against applicants or employees based on sex, sexual orientation, sexuality, transgender status or gender identity or expression, and prohibits such discrimination and retaliation
      • Procedures to report violations
      • A statement that complaints will be investigated, and necessary corrective action taken
      • A process for collecting employees’ signed acknowledgements of the amended policy
  • Delivering training for managers or others who regularly interview job applicants or supervise and discipline employees, including company-wide diversity and inclusion training.
  • Reminding Human Resources staff to maintain records of sex-related medical conditions as confidential medical records under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

At least 26 states plus the District of Columbia had previously passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Supreme Court ruling applies this prohibition to all 50 states under Title VII.

If you have questions or need help implementing an action plan for these changes, contact us today.


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