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August 2020  Volume 18, Number 8        
 

Company Policies Must Now Address LGBTQ Rights in the Workplace

Employers who do not have policies and practices that are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers, should craft guidelines addressing the issue.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that LGBTQ workers are protected by federal employment anti-discrimination law and that an employer who fires a worker for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title VII is part of a federal law that protects employees against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. Employers who have 15 or more employees must treat employees fairly in the areas of recruiting, hiring, promoting, transferring, training, disciplining, discharging, assigning work, measuring performance or providing benefits.

Despite the federal law, and the fact that many state and local governments already have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, there was still the question of whether the act prevents discrimination against LGBTQ employees on the basis of sex.

In October 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard three cases on the issue — two brought by men who allegedly lost their jobs because they were gay and one on transgender discrimination in the workplace. The three cases were consolidated into Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia.

Moving Forward

Employers who already have policies prohibiting discrimination in the workplace should keep those policies in place.

Employers who have not yet addressed the situation are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Company policy should include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

Experts also advise employers to perform a comprehensive review of their job application process, hiring practices and ongoing work procedures to ensure the operations are fair and decisions are not being made in ways that would adversely affect LGBTQ employees.

It is not yet known how this decision will impact religious liberty laws.

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In this issue:

2021 HSA and High Deductible Limits and Maximums

Short on Funds? When Furloughs Make Sense

The Good News About Retirement Savings in Light of the Stock Market Downtown

IRS Health Plan Changes for 2020

Company Policies Must Now Address LGBTQ Rights in the Workplace

 

 


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