The Supreme Court recently agreed to hear three cases concerning whether or not the Civil Rights Act of 1964, known as Title VII, protects gay and transgender persons from workplace discrimination. The cases involve employees who allege they were fired by their employers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Although it is still not decided whether or not federal anti-discrimination laws protect L.G.B.T.Q. workers, many states have passed much broader anti-discrimination laws, including Maryland. Under Maryland’s employment anti-discrimination law, employers may not discriminate against workers because of their race, color, religion, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or genetic information.
Title VII makes it unlawful for covered employers to discriminate against any individual with respect to their compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
The question that the Supreme Court will answer is whether “sex discrimination” includes discrimination against individuals because of their sexual orientation or sexual identity. Most, but not all, of the federal circuit courts have ruled that Title VII’s protections against sex discrimination do not extend to L.G.B.T.Q. (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer) discrimination.
Maryland’s anti-discrimination law, which protects protect L.G.B.T.Q. workers, applies to employers with 15 or more employees and covers discrimination in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, upgrading, setting work conditions, and termination. The law also covers harassment and retaliation.
If you feel you may have been discriminated against by your employer, the attorneys at Lebau & Neuworth may be able to help. Contact our experienced attorneys at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.