Can Employees Be Fired for Being LGTBQ?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination “because of… sex.” Last week, a trio of cases that raise the question of whether Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of sexual orientation and/or gender identity were argued before the Supreme Court. Two of these cases – Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia and Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. – are lawsuits brought by employees who claim they were fired for being gay, and are suing their employers. The third case – R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC – centers around Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who says she was fired from her job at a funeral home because of her gender identity. On this episode, Karen Loewy, Senior Counsel for LGBTQ legal advocacy organization Lambda Legal, and Professor David Upham of the University of Dallas – who both wrote briefs in these cases – explain the arguments on both sides, analyze the Justices’ reactions at oral argument, and predict the potential social and legal consequences of these cases.
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