Will the Supreme Court finally settle the matter of LGBTI workplace discrimination?

The matter of whether or not Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to sexual orientation could finally be settled by the Supreme Court. This law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of sex, race, and religion. It is a hotly debated topic, with no definitive answer yet.

In a new court case, the Trump administration supports a possible ruling saying federal law does not protect LGBTI workers from discrimination.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is deciding in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express. They are hearing it today, 26 September.

Zarda accused the New York-based skydiving company of firing him due to his sexuality. He claimed the company let him go shortly after he disclosed his sexuality to a customer. He died in a base-jumping accident after filing the lawsuit. Executors of his estate are now leading the suit.

Depending on the court’s ruling, the Supreme Court might hear the case.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), however, is urging the court to rule Title VII does not extend to sexual orientation.

In their brief filed earlier this year, the DOJ argued ‘Title VII does not reach discrimination based on sexual orientation’.

It also stated this matter ‘has been settled for decades’ and ‘any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts’.

The future of LGBTI employee discrimination

In April, a 3 judge circuit panel dismissed the case. They cited a prior ruling stating LGBTI discrimination is not part of Title VII.

However, if this full court overturns that decision, it will further split the judicial system on this topic. This will make it more likely for the Supreme Court to hear the case, which is why the ruling is so crucial.

The Supreme Court is already slated to hear the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

In that case, Trump’s DOJ is also siding with LGBTI discrimination and the bakery.

Lambda Legal is appealing another work discrimination case to the Supreme Court. Jameka Evans, a Georgia woman, says a hospital violated Title VII based on her sexuality and gender nonconformity.

If the Supreme Court decides to hear any more of these cases, it could decide the matter of how far Title VII extends. It could be a great victory for the LGBTI community.

Read more from Source: Will the Supreme Court finally settle the matter of LGBTI workplace discrimination?


About Gay Today

Editor of Gay Today