Discrimination based on sex or gender identity is illegal on the job. This has been true since the federal government established Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
And yet, workplaces across the country have perpetuated discrimination against transgender individuals for years. However, a recent ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States could change that.
The ruling reinforces protections for transgender individuals in the workplace
Although Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo LLC was not involved with this case, it is a critical case to highlight.
Recently, the US Supreme Court decided that the Civil Rights Act provides explicit protection for employees who identify as:
- Lesbian; and
These specific protections have been in place at both the state and federal levels for years. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) both prohibit discrimination against employees because of their gender identity or expression. The SCOTUS ruling only solidifies these protections for employees.
What does this mean for employees?
This ruling could have several effects, including:
- Helping employees feel safe in their workplace; and
- Encouraging employees to take legal action to protect their rights.
The Washington Post reports that the second effect is already taking place. Unfair employers across the nation could face a number of discrimination cases as a result of this ruling – such as the case highlighted in The Washington Post article. Now that the SCOTUS ruling strengthened these protections, many individuals across the country might decide to move forward with legal action against former employers who perpetuated discriminatory behavior.
If this is the next step that individuals wish to take, they should be aware of the statute of limitations that applies to their case, and it would be beneficial to consult an experienced employment attorney, such as the ones at Piro Zinna Cifelli Paris & Genitempo.