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scotus rally image A same-sex marriage rally at the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi / ALM

Employers in California have long been prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. On June 15, in the midst of Pride Month, the U.S. Supreme Court brought all states in line, prohibiting employers across the nation from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Bostock v. Clayton County, GA, 590 U.S. ___ (2020), involved the appeals of three separate plaintiffs, each of whom had been terminated by their employer because of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide a circuit split over whether the employers’ actions violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it unlawful for an employer to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s … sex.”

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