On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court held that gay and transgender workers are protected by federal law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sex.
Engel & Martin, LLC has been a leading Ohio law firm on civil rights issues, including cases involving discrimination against LGTBQ employees and students. The Firm issued the following statement:
Today, the US Supreme Court held that an employer can not fire someone simply for being gay or transgender. This case was a long time coming. In the absence of clear federal law on this issue, many gay and transgender persons lacked any legal protection. Many states, including Ohio, provide no specific legal protection for gay or transgender workers.
Firing or refusing to hire people because they are gay or transgender is wrong and, as of today, clearly illegal. An employer who fires an individual because of sexual orientation is exactly the type of conduct that the Civil Rights Laws are designed to forbid. For too long, courts interpreted Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex to mean only that men and women could not be treated differently. Today, such discrimination “on the basis of sex” unquestionably includes LGBTQ people.
Courts need to continue the traditional role of protecting minorities against discrimination. Members of the LGTBQ community deserve the same protections and every other American. Going forward, the Firm will work with advocates and allies to insure that specious claims, such as hostile views masquerading as legitimate religious exemptions, will not undermine the holding today.
The case is Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga. and can be read here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf