Partner Jay M. Wallace is quoted in the Bloomberg Law article “LGBT Ruling Paves Way for Bathroom, Religious Battles at Work.” The piece explores the implications for employers and employees of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in a trio of cases (Bostock v. Clayton County, 17-1618; Altitude Express v. Zarda, 17-1623; and R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 18-107) involving workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. The court specifically addressed the question of whether federal anti-discrimination protections apply to LGBTQ+ persons and whether a suit against an employer is allowed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prohibits bias based on sex.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the 6-3 majority offered this clarity: “Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee’s sex when deciding to fire that employee. We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.”
Wallace commented that suits involving sexual orientation and discrimination are a “nuanced area” of the law and a challenging one for employers to navigate – likening the difficulty to that posed by pregnancy and religious discrimination claims, both instances where the protected characteristic may not be readily knowable.
To read the full article, please click here.