By: Jessica Jackler
June is Pride Month, a celebration to honor the contributions of LGBTQI+ persons. This month also marks the third anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which affirmed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The EEOC issued a statement in honor of Pride Month in which it confirmed its commitment to education and outreach about the Bostock decision and using its enforcement authorities to remedy unlawful discrimination in any aspect of employment. The EEOC noted it recovered approximately $8.7 million during the 2022 fiscal year in cases involving an allegation of sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination.
More recently, in the first half of 2023, the EEOC filed four new lawsuits seeking relief for individuals who were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is clear discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity will continue to be a high priority on the EEOC’s agenda going forward.
Both federal and many state laws, including Illinois, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Employers should review their policies and practices to strictly prohibit discriminatory practices against workers who identify as part of the LGBTQI+ community.