SCOTUS Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Workers

By Peter Moser   June 15, 2020

On June 15, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in three related cases, ruling (6-3) that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This interpretation of existing federal law, building off the longstanding prohibition against “sex” discrimination, was not a foregone conclusion given recent conservative appointments to the Court.  Justice Gorsuch penned the majority decision, writing:

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

The decision will have broad impact nationally, as approximately half the U.S. states do not have their own separate laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Even in states like Massachusetts, which already prohibited workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Supreme Court’s decision is being hailed as a landmark ruling affirming the importance of workplace protections for LGBTQ workers. For questions or more information, please contact any HRW attorney.

Click here to download this alert as a PDF.


HRW square logo

Thank you for reaching out to contact Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP (“the Firm”). Before you send your message, we wanted to make sure you are aware of the following. Please do not send any confidential information in response to this link. Sending an e-mail to the Firm or any of its attorneys does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and will not be deemed to disqualify the Firm from undertaking any engagement for a current or future client. Before any attorney-client engagement may be formed, the Firm will need to check for possible conflicts of interest, you will need to consider whether you wish to retain the Firm as counsel, and we will need to consider whether we wish to accept the potential engagement. In the meantime, the Firm reserves the right to represent parties with interests adverse to you.

Accept Decline