LGBTQ+ Employee Protections

June 14, 2024

Employment Discrimination

Celebrating the Fourth Anniversary of the Landmark Bostock v. Clayton County Ruling: Advancing Federal LGBTQ+ Protections

Four years ago, on June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic ruling in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County that significantly expanded protections for LGBTQ+ employees across the nation. This landmark decision affirmed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, also encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Prior to Bostock, the legal landscape for LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace was fragmented, with federal courts divided on whether Title VII’s federal protections extended to discrimination claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, definitively resolved this split and ushered in a new era of LGBTQ+ workplace rights under federal law.

Since the Bostock decision, we have witnessed a near doubling of Title VII cases alleging discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees compared to the four years prior. This surge in legal action demonstrates the profound impact the ruling has had in empowering LGBTQ+ individuals to stand up for their rights and seek justice when faced with unlawful employment practices related to sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. Federal LGBTQ+ protections are an important tool for our employment lawyers as they help individuals navigate employment disputes, secure rightful compensation, and foster equitable work environments.

The Bostock decision has also sparked a ripple effect, with several states applying its reasoning to their own anti-discrimination laws. This has resulted in a patchwork of protections across the country, with some states providing more comprehensive safeguards for LGBTQ+ workers than others.

However, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality is far from over. Federal courts continue to grapple with the scope of Bostock’s application, particularly in areas such as disparate treatment claims under other federal statutes and the interplay between LGBTQ+ protections and religious freedom exemptions.

At Wanta Thome, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ employees. We understand the unique challenges and barriers this LGBTQ+ people face in the workplace, and we are dedicated to providing empathetic, strategic, and relentless representation to secure the rightful compensation and protections our clients deserve.

As we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Bostock decision, let us reflect on the significant strides we have made in advancing LGBTQ+ workplace rights, while also recommitting ourselves to the ongoing struggle for true equality and justice. Together, we can build a future where all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are afforded the respect, dignity, and opportunities they deserve.

To learn more about your rights and how we can assist you in navigating employment disputes, please contact us for a free telephone consultation to discuss your situation.