By Jasmine Amrita Mann (Product Analyst, LegalMation)
Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart. ― Jalaluddin Rumi
LGBTQ+ Individuals Gain Protections from Employment Discrimination under Title VII
Employment is a privilege. As our country struggles with record-high unemployment rates due to the impact of coronavirus, millions of Americans are enduring the social, economic, and psychological effects of losing their jobs.
President John F. Kennedy once said, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” In addition to income & stability, work provides one with a sense of purpose and a desire to excel. Without a job, individuals cannot access essential resources such as healthcare and retirement plans. But the impact is not just economic – jobs provide social networks, opportunities for personal and professional development, and feelings of productivity and value. Thus, employment protections are crucial for the social and economic well-being of society as a whole.
On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, extending protections to LGBTQ+ residents of the 29 states that did not previously protect sexual orientation and gender identity from discrimination in the workplace.
As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on Title VII, LegalMation has updated its Complaint Analysis tool to include sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination as part of its employment domain for states that previously did not include these as protected classes.
LegalMation believes that diversity leads to a stronger team, one that is better able to meet its clients’ needs in an ever-changing world. As such, LegalMation’s ground-breaking technology now supports current and future clients in addressing employment discrimination claims on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as statutorily protected classes, where this was previously not possible. LegalMation’s platform assists its corporate and law firm clients in addressing and preventing workplace discrimination. This is evident in the various causes of action, defenses, and discovery requests pertaining to employee discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that are accommodated by LegalMation’s software. By saving both law firms and corporate legal departments time in drafting various court documents, LegalMation allows lawyers to focus on what they do best – to advocate for their respective clients.
LGBTQ+ Equality in the United States
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 established constitutional protections from discrimination in obtaining and maintaining employment. The Civil Rights Movement’s success in fighting for equal rights established protections from discrimination for all Americans belonging to various minority identities. While the Civil Rights Act will forever be a monumental part of U.S. history, the language of Title VII failed to include LGBTQ+ individuals from protection against employment discrimination. In the years since 1964, 21 states passed their own anti-discrimination laws that included LGBTQ+ protections, but federal laws remained unchanged.
This term, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a trio of cases relating to the protection of sexual orientation and gender identity from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These cases were crucial for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States, as 52% of LGBTQ+ Americans reside in the 29 states lacking protections from employment discrimination.
With Title VII protections provided by the Supreme Court’s recent decision, LGBTQ+ individuals now have the ability to obtain and maintain employment without fear of discrimination, allowing for better livelihoods and the privileges of financial security, healthcare, retirement, and much more.
A Collective Journey Forward
The recent LGBTQ+ victories were possible because of the Civil Rights Movement and its tireless leaders, advocates, and supporters. Without the long struggle and perseverance of African Americans, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may have never existed. As such, LGBTQ+ Americans might not have otherwise earned the rights that are being celebrated today.
As the United States continues forward in its journey towards equality for all, it is important to remember that collective action and effort are crucial in affecting change. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
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