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US Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Title VII Prohibits LGBT Discrimination

After considering the petitions at eleven separate private conferences, on April 22, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases involving the extent of protection provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – if any – against employment-based discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  As we previously reported here, this issue has been watched closely by the nation, with multiple federal courts, government agencies, and employers reaching differing conclusions.  The Court consolidated the two sexual orientation cases, Altitude Express v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and allocated a total of one hour for oral argument for both cases.  In the gender identity case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al., the Court limited its consideration to only the question of whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U. S. 228 (1989).

The Court will hear argument in these cases next term, which means that it’s possible that a decision may not issue until as late as June 2020.  We will continue to update you with ongoing developments in these cases.

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About this Author

Melissa Legault, Squire PB, Employment lawyer
Associate

Melissa Legault is an associate in the Phoenix office, where she focuses her practice on labor and employment matters. Melissa assists employers in diverse matters related to their employment relationships. She routinely researches and analyzes legal authorities for drafting memoranda, pleadings and position statements related to employment law. Melissa also conducts legal research on employment case law and current events to help clients achieve their goals while complying with frequently changing regulations.

Melissa graduated magna cum laude from the...

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