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Job Protections for LGBTQ

July 14, 2020

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers cannot fire someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a landmark decision that mandates job protections for LGBTQ workers on the national level. Previously, LGBTQ workers in many states had no legal protection against being fired, demoted, or paid less based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, although Maryland has had comprehensive workplace protections in place for LGBTQ employees since 2014. The Court ruled that Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans employment discrimination "because of ... sex," also applies to LGBTQ people

Title VII applies to employers who employ 15 or more workers who work more than 20 hours per week. Many states (like Maryland) had passed state laws providing the same protections to workers as Title VII and had the Supreme Court not maintained these protections for the LGBTQ community, those same state laws would have come under assault. The law also protects workers based upon race, religion, national origin. Other federal and state laws protect persons who are handicapped and need accommodations or are over the age of 40.

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh dissented.

If you believe you are being subject to disparate treatment at work because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, please contact the Singleton Law Group for assistance.