Guidance for Employers after Supreme Court Ruling on Title VII Protections for Gay and Transgender Workers

General Guidelines of Title VII

Congress enacted Title VII to protect employees from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. These Title VII protections prohibit employers from terminating, hiring, paying, and promoting individuals in a discriminatory manner on the basis of one or more of these protected classes.

Supreme Court Decision

In June of this year, the Supreme Court declared that “sex,” as a protected class under Title VII, includes homosexual and transgender employees. To read the full Supreme Court decision, click HERE. Although this decision pertained to three particular cases where the employees had been terminated, the ruling will likely be applied to all employment decisions covered under Title VII, including: (i) hiring; (ii) paying; and (iii) promoting.

What’s Next for Your Business after this Decision?

What does this decision mean for your business? In response to this decision and to ensure the protection of gay and transgender workers, employers should take the following proactive steps:

  1. Review and revise any policies relating to discrimination, harassment, and equal employment opportunities. These revisions should specifically include:
    1. The prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status; and The amendment of any written equal employment opportunity polices to include an express statement that your business does not discriminate or retaliate against applicants or employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or transgender status.
    2. Distribute updated polices to all employees as soon as possible.
  2. Conduct training on the updated polices.
  3. Remind human resources staff of the need to maintain confidentiality of any records related to a worker’s medical condition, including those records about sex-related medical conditions.
  4. Conduct training of hiring staff and other employees who regularly interview applicants to address how this decision impacts the hiring process.
  5. Discipline or supervise employees and/or conduct internal investigations of any complaint or circumstances of potential discrimination or harassment.

Contact Nardone Consultants

With many years of experience in discrimination and harassment matters, Nardone HR & Management Consulting (“Nardone Consultants”) is here to provide assistance and guidance to ensure your business complies with this and other similar decisions on discrimination and harassment. (“Nardone Consultants”). For further information on: (i) developing or updating your discrimination or harassment policy; (ii) handling a specific employment issue or situation; or (iii) implementing a strategy that focuses more on respect in the workplace, contact Nardone Consultants.

This article provides an overview of a specific decision. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

Copyright ©2020 Nardone HR & Management Consultants, LLC. All rights reserved.

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