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Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia (U.S. Supreme Court, June 15, 2020): The U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer who fires an employee for being gay or transgender commits unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII generally prohibits employers from engaging in workplace discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics like sex. Employers, who fired employees for being gay or transgender, argued that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination does not include discrimination against an employee for being transgender or gay. In a 6-3 decision, the Court rejected this argument. An employer who takes an adverse employment action against an employee for traits or actions it would not have questioned with respect to members of a different sex necessarily discriminates on the basis of sex. The Court reasoned that such discrimination “requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex.” Under Title VII as long as an employee’s sex is part of the reason for the termination an employer cannot avoid liability simply because there may have been another reason for that the employee was fired. Read the decision here.

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