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Workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians is illegal

The justices of the Supreme Court of the United States entered a ruling on the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title VII on June 15. The high court panel ruled 6-3 that any discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) workers is unlawful. The panel decided that federal guidelines that refer to 'sex' discrimination being illegal should extend to cover a person's "gender identity" or "sexual orientation."

Congress must ultimately rewrite the law to reflect this new language. The U.S. Supreme Court justices have made it clear how they interpret the law, though.

Data compiled by the Christian Science Monitor shows that this Supreme Court decision could affect as many as 8.1 million LGBTQ workers in this country. Many of those individuals have long endured ill-treatment in the workforce. Some have lost their jobs because of their sexual orientation. Gay rights advocates are hopeful that the Supreme Court's decision to take a position on the matter will pave the way for all individuals to achieve equality in all sectors of society.

Lower court judges have been making rulings in LGBTQ workplace discrimination matters for years. The court, in at least one case, ended ruling discriminate against LGBTQ workers is no different from sexual harassment in terms of being discriminatory and unlawful.

A U.S. Court of Appeals judge also recently weighed in on the matter and announced that they were abandoning their previous decision about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They conceded that the law should protect LGBTQ individuals from workplace discrimination. In their ruling, the judge stated that 'legal doctrine evolves' when explaining their change of heart.

Employers often deny LGBTQ workers promotions or let them go from their jobs. Gay rights advocates are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling will pave the way for workers to gain an equal footing in terms of how employers treat them. If you believe that New Jersey employer has used your sexual orientation or gender identity against you to deny you advancement opportunities or to let you go from your job, then you should consult with a workplace discrimination attorney here in Burlington. Your lawyer can advise you of any legal remedies that you can pursue in your case.

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