Supreme Court considers LGBTQ rights in the workplace

Rose Conlon and David Brancaccio Oct 8, 2019
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on October 8 as the court hears oral arguments in three cases concerning workplace discrimination against LGBTQ employees. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Supreme Court considers LGBTQ rights in the workplace

Rose Conlon and David Brancaccio Oct 8, 2019
Demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on October 8 as the court hears oral arguments in three cases concerning workplace discrimination against LGBTQ employees. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Oral arguments take place today in a trio of U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender employees in the workplace. The court will consider whether federal law prohibits employers from firing or otherwise discriminating based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Only 22 states explicitly protect LGBTQ employees from such action by their employers.

The central question concerns the employment provision of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act which makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate “because of … race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Lower courts have differed on the issue of whether sex discrimination includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

Marketplace spoke with American Civil Liberties Union attorney Gillian Thomas about what’s at stake in the cases. Click the audio player above to hear the conversation.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.