The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against an individual based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The Court decided that such discrimination constituted a violation of Title VII. Title VII provides protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The decision can be read here.
There are four important things to note:
- This decision is now controlling law and is effective immediately.
- Title VII only applies to employers who have 15 or more employees.
- Employers need to be mindful of local ordinances because a City or Town may prohibit this type of discrimination even if the employer is not covered by Title VII.
- The Court did not address whether religious organizations and businesses would be exempt under the Religious Freedom Restoration Action. That question will need to be addressed at a different time