LGBTQ+ Job Discrimination Ruling – BOSTOCK v. CLAYTON COUNTY
In a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or transgender status.
Prior to today’s ruling, only 22 states had employment laws protecting members of the LGBTQ+ community from job discrimination. Texas did not have job discrimination/wrongful termination protections for the LGBTQ+ workforce, meaning, it was legal to demote, fire, or choose not to hire someone in Texas for being gay, lesbian, transgender, etc.
With this ruling, all members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the country will be afforded protection from job discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Bostock v. Clayton County Case Background
Bostock v Clayton County is actually a combination of several cases regarding employees who were fired due to their sexual orientation or transgender status argued throughout the country.
In one case, Clayton County, Georgia, fired Gerald Bostock for conduct “unbecoming” of a county employee after it was discovered that he was participating in a gay recreational softball league. The Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII did not extend its protections for sexual orientation job discrimination.
In another case, Altitude Express, a sky-diving company based in New York state, fired Donald Zarda days after he mentioned to his employers that he was homosexual.
In the third case, Aimee Stephens began her employment with R.G. G.R. Harris Funeral Home presented as a male. After being with the company for six years, Stephens was diagnosed with gender dysphoria after battling bouts of depression as it was recommended to her that she should live her life as a woman. Stephens wrote a letter to her employer regarding her plans to “live and work full time as a woman.” She was subsequently fired as the funeral home simply told her that “this is not going to work out.”
Both Second and Sixth Circuit courts, respectively, held that Title VII does extend its protections for sexual orientation and transgender status job discrimination.
All three cases were brought up to the US Supreme Court via certiorari.
Both Zarda and Stephens died prior to the ruling and were represented by their respective estates.
Thank you, Aimee. We couldn’t have done this without you. Rest in power. pic.twitter.com/V48kuadEy9
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 15, 2020
Bostock v. Clayton County Opinion
Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the court.
In Texas, Can I Sue If I Was Fired For Being Gay or Transgender?
Yes. After this decision, it is now illegal for an employer to fire, demote, or choose not to hire someone solely based on their sexual orientation or transgender status. Although Texas is an at-will state, an employer cannot fire you on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and now sexual orientation and transgender status), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
Under What Circumstances Can I Sue For Wrongful Termination In Texas?
Although Texas is an at-will state, there are a handful of scenarios where you can file a lawsuit against your employer for wrongful termination.
- Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and now sexual orientation and transgender status), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
- Filing a discrimination complaint against another employee or your supervisor.
- Refusing sexual advances or for filing a sexual harassment complaint.
- Filing a worker’s compensation claim.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Fired For Being Gay or Transgender?
For those looking to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against their employer, you must first consider whether your termination falls under any of the above-provided examples of wrongful termination. If you believe that it does, you should contact an experienced wrongful termination lawyer immediately.
After you have hired a wrongful termination lawyer to begin your case, you will need to partner with them to ensure that your case is viable by being upfront, honest, and detailed about your termination as possible. Additionally, be prepared to provide your wrongful termination lawyer with any evidence such as documents, emails, text messages, etc. so that they may begin building up your wrongful termination case. Also, be aware that gathering witnesses may also be extremely vital for your wrongful termination case.
Hire The McAllen Wrongful Termination Lawyer Today
If you feel that you have been fired wrongfully for being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you need to call the McAllen wrongful termination lawyers at Moore Law Firm today for your FAST and FREE consultation!