Supreme Court Rules Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unconstitutional under Title VII

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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.”

Sources

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (Supreme Court of the United States, 2020). Retrieved June 17, 2020 from <https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf>.

Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al., No. 14-556 (Supreme Court of the United States, 2015). Retrieved June 17, 2020 from <https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf>.

Liptak, A. (2020, June 15). Civil Rights Law Protects Gay and Transgender Workers, Supreme Court Rules. The New York Times. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/us/gay-transgender-workers-supreme-court.html>.

Miller, S. (2019, October 8). ‘Shocking’ numbers: half of LGBTQ adults live in states where no laws ban job discrimination. USA Today. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/08/lgbt-employment-discrimination-half-of-states-offer-no-protections/3837244002/>.

Barnes, R. (2020, June 15). Supreme Court says gay, transgender workers protected by federal law forbidding discrimination. The Washington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-says-gay-transgender-workers-are-protected-by-federal-law-forbidding-discrimination-on-the-basis-of-sex/2020/06/15/2211d5a4-655b-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html?arc404=true>.

Wolf, R. and B. Heath (2015, June 26). Supreme Court strikes down bans on same-sex marriage. USA Today. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/26/supreme-court-gay-lesbian-marriage/28649319/>.

LGBTQ Americans Aren’t Fully Protected From Discrimination in 29 States. (2018). Freedom for All Americans. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.freedomforallamericans.org/states/>.

Nichols, A. et al. (2013). Consequences of Long-Term Unemployment. Urban Institute. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from <https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/23921/412887-Consequences-of-Long-Term-Unemployment.PDF>.

LGBTQ+ Rights. ACLU Florida. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from <https://www.aclufl.org/en/issues/lgbtq-rights>.

Santich, K. (2020, June 15). U.S. Supreme Court’s ban on LGBTQ job discrimination could bring change to Florida law. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/florida/os-ne-supreme-court-ban-lgbtq-discrimination-florida-20200615-sk7ogbnoqzhivmwp6vdlhpzuqy-story.html>.

LGBTQ Equality. ACLU Texas. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from <https://www.aclutx.org/en/issues/lgbtq-equality>.

Platoff, E. (2020, June 15). U.S. Supreme Court says civil rights law applies to LGBTQ workers, granting protections long denied in Texas. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.texastribune.org/2020/06/15/bostock-supreme-court-texas-lgbtq/>.

LGBTQ&T Equality. ACLU Pennsylvania. Retrieved June 18, 2020, from <https://www.aclupa.org/en/issues/lgbqt-equality>.

Orso, A. (2020, June 15). Why the Supreme Court’s decision on LGBTQ workers is a huge deal for Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.inquirer.com/news/supreme-court-decision-lgbtq-discrimination-workers-pennsylvania-new-jersey-20200615.html>.

Civil Rights Movement. (2020, June 5). History.com. Retrieved June 17, 2020, from <https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement#:~:text=The%20civil%20rights%20movement%20was%20an%20organized%20effort%20by%20black,laws%20to%20…read%20more>.

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LegalMation provides a suite of Artificial Intelligence tools to help litigation attorneys and legal professionals practice at their highest levels. Our litigation automation solutions tackle routine litigation tasks. Unlike existing template generators and form-fillers, LegalMation's ground-breaking AI system is able to dynamically produce responsive pleadings, discovery requests, discovery responses, and related documents that are tailored to the claims, allegations, and requests in the legal document uploaded, incorporating jurisdictional requirements as well as the attorney’s own style, formatting, and response strategy.

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Corporate In-House Case Study

A leading global retail giant achieves significant savings on legal fees on its high-volume litigation matters using LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool.

The Legal Operations group of a leading global retailer with significant litigation volume across the country was searching for technology tools to increase efficiency and consistency on its litigation matters, lower its legal spend, and obtain more value from outside counsel. Working with LegalMation, the retailer identified two litigation areas with large volume where the deployment of LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool could have a significant impact: employment and premises liability tort litigation.

The retailer conducted a pilot of LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool by asking select outside counsel to run complaints through the LegalMation Complaint Analysis tool and compare the outputs to those generated by the firm’s typical workflow.  LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool was able to generate an answer, requests for production and interrogatories that were almost identical to those generated by outside counsel and tailored to the facts and allegations of each.

Today, this global retailer has made LegalMation an integral part of its workflow and case assignment process. When a new lawsuit is served on the retailer in one of the jurisdictions where LegalMation operates, an in-house paralegal runs the complaint through LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool and sends the output, consisting of an answer, requests for production, interrogatories, and other jurisdiction or firm-specific output to the selected outside counsel for the matter.  Outside counsel then bills the retailer solely for the time spent reviewing and editing this initial output which generates significant savings for the global retailer.

Challenge

  • Increasing budgetary pressure to lower outside counsel legal fees
  • Obtain more value from hours billed by outside counsel
  • Lack of consistency in work product and quality from outside counsel

Solution

  • Deploy LegalMation internally to generate initial draft responsive documents in minutes
  • Integrate LegalMation into its initial case assignment process

Results

  • Up to 80% savings on outside counsel legal fees on key early stage litigation document drafting.
  • Reallocation of outside counsel time away from process/routine work to higher value strategic tasks.
  • Increased consistency and quality in work product

Large Firm Case Study

An Am Law 100 labor and employment law firm was searching for ways to become more competitive and capture more market share

Handling over 5,000 employment related litigation matters per year across the country, the Am Law 100 law firm (the “Firm”) needed a quantifiable solution to lower its servicing costs and provide more value to its national clients. The Firm engaged in extensive testing of LegalMation’s platform across multiple offices to determine its effectiveness.

Using LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool, the Firm was able to reduce the attorney time spent preparing answers, affirmative defenses, and initial written discovery (requests for production, interrogatories, and other jurisdiction-specific requests) from an average of 6-8 hours per matter, to less than 1 hour (including review time by an attorney). The Firm tested LegalMation’s tools across multiple types of employment cases across various jurisdictions and concluded that the resulting draft documents were not only produced incredibly fast, but were also consistent in quality.

Today, the Firm is able to offer more competitive proposals for its volume matters, which in turn allows it to obtain additional work from national clients.

Challenge

  • Downward price pressure in high-volume, lower-exposure matters
  • Making Alternative Fee Arrangements more competitive and yet more profitable
  • Differentiate from competitors during marketing pitches
  • Lack of work product consistency from associates/paralegals

Solution

  • Integrate LegalMation into volume litigation matters in the Firm’s busiest offices

Results

  • Up to 80% time savings on key litigation tasks
  • Higher profit margins on volume matters, particularly those on AFAs
  • More distinctive marketing
  • Higher levels of associate satisfaction

SMALL LAW Firm Case Study

A high-caliber general litigation boutique reduced paralegal and associate time and money expended on key early litigation tasks by 75%+

A general litigation boutique with around 40 attorneys needed to cut costs in order to stay competitive in a very crowded local market and also sought to minimize reliance on support staff.

Using LegalMation’s platform, the boutique law firm was able to reduce the attorney (and paralegal) time spent preparing answers, initial discovery (requests for production and interrogatories), and discovery responses, including objections, from several hours per matter, to less than 1 hour (including review time by a supervising attorney). The boutique firm tested LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool and Discovery Analysis tool across multiple practice areas and concluded that the resulting draft documents were not only produced incredibly fast but also with consistency and quality similar to its own junior attorneys and paralegals. In particular, the boutique law frim, which did not have the luxury of a large support staff, found LegalMation’s Discovery Request tool particularly helpful in dealing with burdensome discovery requests served on its clients.

Today, the boutique law firm is able to offer more competitive proposals for its matters and through the efficiency gained by LegalMation’s platform compete against national law firms with more resources.

Challenge

  • Downward price pressure due to a crowded local market
  • Limited associate/paralegal resources to handle routine drafting tasks
  • Compete against national law firms with more resources
  • Differentiate from competitors during marketing pitches
  • Lack of work product consistency from associates/paralegals

Solution

  • Deploy LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool to generate initial draft responsive pleadings, and the Discovery Analysis tool to quickly generate shells and responsive objections throughout the life of a case

Results

  • 70-85% time savings on key litigation tasks
  • Higher profit margins on volume matters, particularly those on AFAs
  • More distinctive marketing
  • Higher levels of associate satisfaction
  • Reduced staff overtime
 

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James M. Lee
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James M. Lee is co-founder and CEO of LegalMation. He is a founding partner of LTL Attorneys LLP, a nationally recognized litigation boutique. As an experienced litigator, he has tried numerous cases in federal and state courts. He has been recognized as a top business litigator by various legal publications including the National Law Journal. James has served as lead counsel to a number of Fortune and multinational clients including Wal-Mart, Thomson Reuters, Symantec, and VIZIO. He was formerly associated with litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel before co-founding LTL Attorneys. He is a frequent and noted speaker and commentator in the field of AI and innovations in the field of law. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, and his B.S. from the University of Southern California. At LegalMation, James serves as the key driver of the Company’s vision and strategy.

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Insurance COMPANY Case Study

A national insurance carrier achieves significant savings on its high-volume, low exposure litigation matters through its adoption of LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool

A national insurance carrier with significant litigation volume across the country for its insureds, was searching for technology, tools, and processes to increase efficiency on its litigation matters to lower its litigation costs. This national insurance carrier partnered with LegalMation to identify an area of litigation where LegalMation could have a significant and immediate impact and decided to deploy LegalMation’s Complaint Analysis tool for all of its third-party motor vehicle tort litigation.

LegalMation worked closely with the national insurance carrier to customize the output from its platform to generate documents that mirrored the current output of the national insurance carrier’s attorneys and paralegals.  LegalMation was able to automate the creation of an answer, requests for production of documents, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and deposition notices, all tailored to the facts and allegations of each complaint and almost indistinguishable from those manually created by the insurance company’s attorneys and paralegals.  LegalMation was able to generate this output in 2-3 minutes—a significant time savings over the insurance company’s prior practice for generating this output.

Following a pilot program consisting of processing all of its complaints for a single jurisdiction through LegalMation, the national insurance company made LegalMation an integral part of its workflow for all jurisdictions where LegalMation currently operates. In these jurisdictions, when a new motor vehicle-related lawsuit is served on the insurance company or its insureds, the assigned counsel or paralegal runs the complaint through the LegalMation Complaint Analysis tool, downloads the initial outputs, which are then reviewed by the attorney or paralegal and finalized, all within a few minutes.

Challenge

  • Increasing budgetary pressure to lower legal spend on defense of insureds
  • Obtain more value from staff counsel
  • Reduce legal secretary/paralegal overtime

Solution

  • Deploy LegalMation internally so staff/captive counsel can generate initial response draft documents in minutes

Results

  • Up to 80% time savings on key litigation tasks
  • Reallocation of staff/captive counsel time away from process/volume work to higher value strategic tasks
  • Increased consistency and quality in work product

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