Supreme Court Holds That Rules Civil Rights Law Protect LGBTQ Workers Are Protected By Employment Discrimination Laws

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination based on sex. In a 6-3 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion, joined the Court’s four more liberal justices.

Before this historic Supreme Court decision, the issue of whether an employee could be fired for being gay, bisexual, or transgender was an unresolved legal issue under federal law. Now, federal law will protect millions of people from job termination and other adverse employment decisions because of sexual orientation or gender identity.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Supreme Court decided three separate cases that dealt with similar issues. Two lawsuits involved employees who were fired due to being gay, while the third lawsuit was brought by an who alleged that they were fired for being transgender. To read the Court’s opinion in the Bostock case, click here.

While it is now illegal under federal law to discriminate against an employee for being gay or transgender, individual states are mixed on whether such discrimination is illegal at the state level. For example, the Missouri Supreme Court has held that sexual orientation is not a protected category within the ambit of “sex” under the Missouri Human Rights Act. However, in October 2019, Riggan Law Firm, LLC obtained a $19,970,00 jury verdict against St. Louis County for a gay police officer who was passed over for multiple promotions due to unlawful gender stereotyping and related retaliation. To read more about our landmark trial victory against St. Louis County, click here.

If you or a loved one experienced workplace discrimination or retaliation in Missouri, contact Riggan Law Firm, LLC today at (314) 684-8406.