The Verdict is in: Supreme Court Rules on Title VII Protections


On June 15th, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition against sex-based discrimination in employment set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.

The Court stated that “an employer violates Title VII when it intentionally fires an individual employee based in part on sex”, and “an individual’s homosexuality or transgender status is not relevant to employment decisions”. This ruling essentially safeguards employees from being terminated based on LGBTQ identification.

This significant ruling provides employment protections beyond firing practices, as Title VII prohibits discrimination against workers based on protected characteristics with respect to terms and conditions of employment including hiring, firing, laying off, training or disciplining.


  • Review your job applicant, hiring, and ongoing work processes to look for issues that may relate to these areas – including health plan coverage and procedures, leave and insurance benefits, and any other areas in which LGBTQ employees might be affected.
  • Be consistent and equitable in all employment-related decisions, furnish accurate evaluations, and maintain and publicize anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies.
  • Amend policies immediately to include sexual orientation and gender identity within the classes protected from discrimination in the workplace. 
  • Educate and train employees on anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and include training on LGBTQ bias.

Baker Tilly Vantagen professionals offer employers proactive, expert-level guidance and support for federal and state anti-discrimination laws.  Contact our team for compliance assistance and risk mitigation support.

The information provided here is of a general nature and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any individual or entity. In specific circumstances, the services of a professional should be sought. Tax information, if any, contained in this communication was not intended or written to be used by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties, nor should such information be construed as an opinion upon which any person may rely. The intended recipients of this communication and any attachments are not subject to any limitation on the disclosure of the tax treatment or tax structure of any transaction or matter that is the subject of this communication and any attachments.