The Supreme Court will decide whether discrimination against gay and transgender employees is illegal under federal law. The Court has agreed to hear three cases on the issues in the fall term. The cases involve Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on protected classes such as race, gender, and national origin. In these cases, the Court will decide whether Title VII makes sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes.
Lower courts are divided on whether employment discrimination against gay and transgender workers is unlawful under Title VII
Courts are split on whether Title VII protects gay and transgender employees. Most courts have found Title VII does not protect sexual orientation and gender identity. Where this is the law, employers can discriminate against gay and transgender people. For example, an employer can fire an employee for being gay. Some courts, however, say Title VII does protect gay and transgender workers. This means that gay and transgender employees can sue their employers for employment discrimination under Title VII.
Therefore, whether federal law protects gay and transgender workers from discrimination currently depends on location. In some places it does, in other places it does not. The Supreme Court's decision will set the law for the whole country.
Many states do not have laws prohibiting employment discrimination against gay and transgender people
Title VII is federal law so it applies across the entire country. Because many states do not have strong employment discrimination laws, Title VII is very important. If you live in a state that does not protect gay or transgender employees, Title VII is your only protection. Therefore, millions of gay and transgender Americans will be left with no protection if the Supreme Court decides Title VII does not protect them.
The Court will hear arguments on gay and transgender employment discrimination on October 8
The court will hear oral arguments in these cases on October 8, 2019. Next, the Court will issue decisions. This will likely happen in the next several months. However, it's possible the Court could dodge the issue and resolve the cases on procedural grounds. Accordingly, the Court may not definitely resolve the issues raised in these cases at this time.
The Supreme Court will decide whether employers can discriminate against gay and transgender workers under federal law only
Fortunately, California law does protect gay and transgender people from employment discrimination. Therefore, whatever the Supreme Court decides, California law will still protect gay and transgender workers from employment discrimination.
If you believe an employer has discriminated against you, contact the Khadder Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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