Updated: Aug 19, 2020
This week marks a historic Supreme Court clarification affecting companies nationwide: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 now makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against LGBTQ workers. The 6-3 ruling states that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination violates Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of sex.”
Although Illinois has had such protections in place since 2006, the new law creates additional avenues for employees to be able to file claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and federal court as opposed to just the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and Illinois state court. The ruling has the potential to trickle down and affect other laws pertaining to sex discrimination issues, such as healthcare insurance coverage, fair housing and equal education opportunities.
Employers should consider reviewing their company handbooks, training and policies in order to confirm compliance, or revise accordingly.