Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Prohibits Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

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The United States Supreme Court ruled today that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act barring “sex” discrimination in the workplace protects LGBTQ employees from being terminated because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.


Two consolidated cases Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia addressed workplace protections based on sexual orientation. In R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC, the Court considered employment rights based on gender identity. In a 6 to 3 majority, the Court ruled, contrary to the position of the Trump Administration, that the word “sex” also includes sexual orientation and transgender orientation.  While twenty-one (21) states and the District of Columbia and localities, like Omaha, prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, this ruling extends civil rights protections in the workplace to gay, lesbian or transgender employees for all covered employers.

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Fraser Stryker’s Labor and Employment Attorneys are available to answer questions and assist clients in preparation for, or response to, any legal issues related to COVID-19 and employees. Please reach out to us at 402.341.6000 for further assistance.

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This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.

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