Supreme Court Rules Termination for Sexual Orientation or Gender Expression is Not Constitutional

This past summer, the Supreme Court advanced civil rights with their sweeping decision to deem workplace discrimination for LGBTQ workers unconstitutional. Many states already had their own laws on the books protecting workers from being discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender expression.

Though a few states, mainly in the South and Midwest, did not have these laws on the books, exposing millions of workers to potential discrimination based on these factors [1]. Now, it is illegal throughout the United States to be terminated from a position if the sole reason for the termination is the person’s sexual orientation or gender expression.

How it Came to be Decided

This decision was decided by a strict reading of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes sex discrimination illegal. This decision expanded upon what could be considered discrimination based on sex, namely gender expression and the gender of one’s partner in personal relationships.

The reason for the dissenting opinions came from the justices who saw this case largely as a replacement for legislation. Justice Kavanagh said in his dissenting opinion that while he saw this decision as an overstep and a violation of the nation’s separation of powers, the day should be celebrated for the long years it took activists of the LGBTQ community to get to this point.

People can associate with a group specific to the LGBTQ community outside of the workplace, such as plaintiff Gerald Bostock, who was fired from his job for joining a gay softball league, without fear of keeping this hidden in the workplace. The other plaintiff, Donald Zarda, was fired for telling customers at his workplace that he was gay. Now, there is no more need for concern of being open with your gender expression and sexuality in the workplace.

Reach Out to an Experienced Employment Law Firm for a Free Consultation

As employment attorneys in California, we are committed to ensuring our clients receive the rights they are entitled to as employees under federal law. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated on the basis of your sexual orientation or gender expression, reach out to Makarem & Associates.
With some of the best employment law attorneys in California, we can provide you legal representation to help you reach the most ideal outcome. Get in touch with Makarem & Associates for a free consultation over the phone at 310-312-0299 or email at [email protected] to receive the right legal counsel.


[1] https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-06-15/supreme-court-sex-discrimination-gay-and-transgender-workers

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