Tuesday, April 23, 2019

It's Happening! SCOTUS to hear sexual orientation and transgender workplace discrimination cases!

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases.

First, the Court consolidated Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, GA. The issue presented is:
Whether discrimination against an employee because of sexual orientation constitutes prohibited employment discrimination “because of . . . sex” within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2.
 About a year ago, I posted about Altitude Express, and asked "Will this be the case that gets the Supreme Court to weigh in?" Welp, I guess it was. 

Notably, the Supreme Court also granted cert on a separate case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC:
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U. S. 228 (1989).
 A slight re-wording from the actual petition - perhaps the "limited" review refers to the exclusion of a RFRA issue presented at the circuit court level?

It will be a while before we get a ruling. Of course, in the meantime, Congress can moot these cases any time it wants. These cases turn on statutory interpretation - Congress could amend Title VII to clearly include/exclude sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

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