Supreme Court Announces Federal Law Prohibiting Employer Discrimination Against Gay & Transgender Workers

On Monday, April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would be deciding whether federal law prohibits employer discrimination against gay and transgender workers. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars employment discrimination based on “sex.” The Justices will decide whether this language also encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status, in order to resolve a split among how the federal appellate courts have interpreted the law previously. Two recent decisions which held that discrimination against gays and lesbians is covered under Title VII, plus another with a contrary ruling, will be heard and decided by the summer of 2020. The Justices’ decision will settle this longstanding dispute and will certainly be a political factor during the 2020 presidential campaign.

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