The last several years have seen sexual orientation and gender identity become a political and workplace battleground once more. Federal and state protections switch back and forth as lawsuits and separate rulings continue to determine the rights and protections of LGBTQ+ individuals.
A recent federal ruling reduces employer requirements regarding employee protections for LGBTQ workers.
The vacated requirements
The Health and Human Services Secretary issued guidance earlier this year. This guidance insisted that federally funded agencies cannot keep people from accessing gender-affirming care on the basis of their identity or sex assigned at birth.
The federal judge in this case vacated this guidance. He likewise refuted certain implications of Title VII prohibitions. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on a variety of personal factors including being a gay or transgender person. In his ruling, the judge said this prohibition does not necessarily extend to all correlated conduct. The conduct in question included the use of pronouns, preferred bathrooms or choices in how people choose to dress.
The report does not clarify where the line blurs between gender identity and expression in the workplace.
Employee discrimination protections today
As these rulings continue, many LGBTQ+ employees may wonder how Title VII protects them. It is important for employees to learn more if they feel that their experience at work constitutes discrimination based on who they are.
It may feel extremely stressful to experience this harassment or discrimination. However, those experiencing it may still find resources and a solution when asserting their rights through the legal process.