Today, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in three separate cases establishing that Title VII prohibits employment discrimination against homosexual and transgender individuals. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is one of the primary federal laws that provides protections for employees. In Title VII, Congress outlawed workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
When I first started practicing employment-law, there was no federal or North Carolina precedent to support pursuing a claim on behalf of a homosexual or transgender employee who suffered employment discrimination. I cannot count the number of times that I had to tell gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals who were subjected to discrimination in the workplace that there was no legal basis to support their claims. It was unfathomable and frustrating to repeatedly explain that discrimination against homosexual and transgender employees was entirely legal.