Does the recent Supreme Court ruling open a door for LGBT workers to take legal action against discriminatory employers?
The United States Supreme Court delivered a momentous ruling in favor of LGBT rights on Monday, deciding that gay, lesbian, and transgender workers are protected by federal anti-discrimination law. The 6-3 decision means that LGBT employees cannot be fired for their sexual orientation, a possibility that still exists in many states even in the five years since same-sex marriage was ruled legal. The justices decided that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis on sex, also applies to sexual orientation.
The case involved two plaintiffs who were fired by their employers after revealing that they were gay, and a transgender individual who was terminated from her job after revealing her gender identity to her boss. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the majority opinion that “the answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Workplace discrimination occurs when an individual is adversely discriminated against due to a multitude of factors defined by law. If an individual fears for their job, or realizes they are being passed over for promotion, they should consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law. Colorado and Federal employment laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. If an employee is wrongfully terminated, or bias is affecting promotions, based on any of these characteristics or traits, they can recover damages, including attorney fees, from their employer.
Wrongful termination and workplace prejudice.
Employees have rights to fight back against wrongful termination, and discrimination. They can complain informally to their employer, file a formal complaint, file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or Colorado Civil Rights Division, or file a lawsuit. A successful discrimination legal action will be based on verifiable proof of the infraction and will be judged against the EEOC definitions according to the type of discrimination claimed. The latest Supreme Court ruling will enable relevant case law to support future claims against employers pertaining to issues of gay or transgender prejudice in the workplace.
Legal counsel and damages.
Legal counsel can assist with the determination of damages to remedy intangible injuries such as emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, pain and suffering, injury to professional community standing, injury to reputation and character, injury to credit and loss of health regarding discrimination cases against Colorado employers. Economic damages are easier to quantify and include potential moving expenses, financial losses due to inability to access promotions, job search expenses, medical expenses, behavioral health expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the workplace discrimination. Call the Law Office of Anderson Barkley for a complimentary consultation to discuss your case.
Anderson Barkley Attorneys at Law
3900 E. Mexico Ave., Suite 300
Denver, CO 80210
Phone: (720) 506-1764
Fax: (303) 927-0809
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