In a landmark decision made in Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., the Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT+ employees from discrimination based on sex on June 15. In a 6-3 decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the majority opinion that Title VII protections against discrimination on the basis of sex extend to LGBT+ individuals.
Previous to the Supreme Court decision, only 22 states prohibited discrimination in the workplace against LGBT+ employees.
“We spend so much of our life at work, and a hostile work environment makes any job incredibly difficult, which in turn affects the whole organization,” said Dr. Ana Maria Garcia, associate professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice. “But this ruling means that LGBT+ folks can have access and opportunities to enter all workspaces, and once there, they can participate fully without fear of discrimination.”
In a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), this decision is especially timely as recent data estimates that 5 million LGBT+ individuals work in industries that are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The anti-discrimination protections afforded by Title VII will now ensure that LGBT+ employees are not unfairly targeted.