Update Your Anti-Discrimination Policies
Employers should review their discrimination policies following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, No. 17-1618, __ U.S. __ (June 15, 2020). In Bostock, the Court found that gay and transgender employees are covered by the prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court reasoned that an employer’s decision is necessarily based on sex when, for example, it fires a male employee attracted to men but not a female employee attracted to men. In the wake of Bostock, discrimination policies should make clear that employees may not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Clearly communicated, and consistently-applied written policies are an employer’s best defense against discrimination claims.