Updates in the Law
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that existing federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. In decisions on two separate cases, the court held Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person’s sex, among other factors, also covers sexual orientation and transgender status. It upheld rulings from lower courts that found discrimination based on those factors was a form of sex discrimination.
Across the nation, 21 states have their own laws prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Seven more provide that protection only to public employees. Those laws remain in force, but Monday’s ruling means federal law now provides similar protection for LGBTQ employees in the rest of the country, including Nebraska.
At a minimum, employers should review their workplace policies, including employee handbooks, to ensure they expressly afford protections from discrimination based upon these newly recognized protected statuses under federal law.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Employment Law attorneys via email or by calling the office at 402.492.9200.