Appellate Courts clash on whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers LGBT Discrimination
The U. S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in late 2019 on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 currently covers workplace discrimination based on LGBT identity. Until recently, the majority of federal appeals courts have ruled that Title VII does not include discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, two appellate courts, in New York and Chicago, recently ruled that discrimination against homosexuals and transgender people is a form of sex discrimination.
Calls for Broader LGBT Protections through Legislation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated its position that the landmark ruling of the Civil Rights Act covers discrimination based not only on race, religion, national origin, and sex, but also discrimination against gay and transgender employees.
Also, Congress has proposed a bill, the Equality Act, that would amend the Civil Rights Act, and specifically prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in employment, as well as housing, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.
What this Means for Employers
A future Supreme Court decision on the ruling could provide some clarity about exactly what is expected of employers under the law. MyHRC encourages our clients around the country to continue to diversify their hiring practices and recognize equality under the law.
It is best for employers to have specific policies in their Employee Handbooks that prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We encourage employers to investigate the city and state laws in their area, since these can differ from federal legislation.
MyHRConcierge will continue to provide information on this issue as it becomes available.
If you have questions or need assistance with your reporting needs, please contact Chris Cooley at (855) 538-6947 ext 108.