Gaps Remain in Supreme Court LGBTQ Employment Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends protective employment law for workers to the LGBTQ community. While properly recognized as a major win for those who identify as LGBTQ, it does not fully affirm many rights and does not protect workers employed by small businesses in McClean, VA, Washington D.C., and other communities across the nation.

The first hole in the Supreme Court ruling on employment law protections for LGBTQ workers is that it does not apply to small businesses with fewer than 15 employees. The majority of employers in the United States rank as small employers, and many of those have fewer than 15 employees. That means a significant portion of job providers across the United States are not obligated to abide the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If such an employer is biased against an LGBTQ worker, nothing would protect that worker from workplace discrimination and an unwarranted loss of a job.

Another problem is there are no protections regarding gender-biased dress codes, employee restrooms, locker rooms, and other traditionally gender-declared workplace locations that affect transgender workers. The Supreme Court refused to rule on employers citing religious objections for refusing employ those who identify as LGBTQ.

While the Supreme Court ruling leaves many loopholes, several states have worker protection laws that ensure very small businesses with fewer than 15 employees must abide civil rights and employment laws that protect LGBTQ workers against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for demanding basic human rights be upheld.

If you or someone you know is a member of the LGBTQ community and experiencing unlawful workplace harassment, an attorney experienced in employment law for workers can help to uphold and enforce your rights in the workplace in Washington D.C., McClean, VA, and other locales.