The United States Supreme Court ruled last month in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia that a hallmark civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority in the Court’s 6-3 decision, plainly stated: “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.”
The law at issue in the case was Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin or sex. The Court concluded that the final prohibition—discrimination based on “sex”—applies to gay and transgender workers nationwide. In Texas, prior to the Court’s decision, there was no statewide legal protection from workplace discrimination for LGBT workers in Texas.
Select cities such as Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and others had implemented their own non-discrimination ordinances (NDOs) in recent years to protect LGBT workers in the absence of a state or federal requirement.
However, with this recent ruling, hotel managers across Texas must comply with the decision’s impact just as any other business operator in the country is required. Workers may not be subject to workplace discrimination based upon LGBT status, just as such discrimination on the basis of race, religion or national origin has long been illegal.
Note: THLA’s legal team regularly assists lodging operators with employment issues. If you have questions about a personnel situation at your property, please feel free to reach out to our attorneys at (512) 474-2996 for support.