The Civil Rights Act of 1964 established U.S. workers’ immunity from discrimination on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Although this act is one that helped the U.S. take strides toward equality, it did not include those who identified as LGBTQ.
Due to the failure to include LGBTQ individuals, the Supreme Court is deciding whether the Civil Rights Act should be interpreted to include this group. The current interpretation of the Civil Rights Act makes discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community in the workplace legal. An updated interpretation could give these individuals the same protections that others have.
The Justices’ Deliberation
No ruling has been handed down and there is one Justice that is seen to be on the fence. The judge tends to base his votes on a judicial philosophy known as textualism. Textualists tend to take a body of text word-for-word to determine its message. Due to the nature of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the justices must determine how broad the outlawing of discrimination based on sex is, and whether it should cover an individual’s sexuality.
In determining whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ individuals, the justices had to identify the Constitution’s interpretation of sex. One side claimed that the Constitution did not intend to protect LGBTQ individuals when it outlawed discrimination based on sex. The other side claimed that discriminating against same-sex couples violated the Civil Rights Act.
New Jersey Laws Regarding LGBTQ Discrimination
The Supreme Court is still deciding if the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ individuals, however, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects those with different sexualities and gender identities.
The NJLAD protects LGBTQ individuals from:
- Wrongful termination
- Refusal to hire
- Salary inequities
- Unfair Treatment
- Insensitive jokes
- Denial of gender identity bathroom usage
- Retaliation for sexuality reveal
Those who violate the NJLAD face a variety of consequences, including fines or damages to the victim. If the discrimination cost a victim their job, they are typically entitled to obtain their position with back pay and restoration of benefits. Similarly, victims can obtain damages for noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering and humiliation. Damages obtained from economic losses include lost wages and attorney fees.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help LGBTQ Individuals Facing Discrimination in the Workplace
If you were discriminated against at work, contact a Cherry Hill employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our lawyers help clients dealing with discrimination by maximizing the possible compensation available for victims. If you are interested in speaking to one of our lawyers, contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 for a free consultation. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.