Decision Encompasses the Rights of Transgender Persons
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases involving LGBT rights under Title VII, hailing from Georgia, New York and Michigan, respectively. In the Georgia action a gay county employee sued the county alleging sexual orientation discrimination in firing him. In the New York case, a gay employee challenged termination as a skydiving instructor. In the Michigan case, a funeral home fired a transitioning, transgender employee based on gender stereotypes. The Court held that an employer violates Title VII, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against an individual “because of” the individual's sex, by firing an individual for being homosexual or being a transgender person. Justice Gorsuch unequivocally states, “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.” With more than half of states permitting termination based on being gay, bisexual or transgender this decision provides protection from such wrongful employment practices.