LGBT Discriminatory Practices

A landmark decision made in June of 2020 now protects members of the LGBT community.

Prior to June 15, 2020, federal law did not clearly define discrimination against members of the LGBT community as unlawful. However, the Supreme Court has made a landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. Fortunately, that case now prohibits discrimination against members of the LGBT community in every state in the country.

Bostock v. Clayton County

The case of Bostock v. Clayton County was a case that was heard in Georgia, but it consolidated three cases from different areas of the country. The other two cases were Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. All of the cases involved the alleged wrongful termination of gay or transgender employees based solely on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

In each case, the employers did not deny that they terminated employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. They did, however, claim that the terminations were not unlawful because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act did not include members of the LGBT community as people within a protected class. Title VII does prohibit discrimination against certain protected classes, which include a person’s race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, or national origin.

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court concluded that Title VII does make it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on sex, which includes a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation. In their published decision, the Court stated that firing an employee based on the fact that they were gay or transgender, when they would not have taken the same action against someone of a different sex, is illegal.

California’s Discrimination Laws

The landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County is good news for employees across the country. However, prior to the case being heard by the Supreme Court, the state of California already had their own discrimination laws that protected members of the LGBT community.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person based on a protected class. Under this Act, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on their:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • National origin
  • Mental or physical disability
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military or veteran status

California’s state laws provide much more protection for employees than federal law, even with the new landmark case. Within the state, it is also against the law to discriminate against people who do not speak English, unless there is a clear business need for the restriction.

Our Murrieta Employment Lawyers can Help with Your Case

If you are an individual within a protected class and have been discriminated against in the workplace, our Murrieta employment lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP, are here to help. We will explain the law as it applies to your case, hold your employer accountable for their discriminatory practices, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Serving the San Diego, Temecula, Riverside and San Bernardino Areas of Southern California

Call our Murrieta office at (951) 816-3435 or our San Diego office at 619-702-3505 for a free consultation. You can also contact us online at any time and a lawyer from our office will call or respond to your e-mail soon.

We handle discrimination lawsuits on a contingency basis; you pay no legal fees unless we obtain a verdict or settlement on your behalf.