Business giants urge Supreme Court to take up LGBT discrimination

Business giants urge Supreme Court to take up LGBT discrimination
© File photo

A coalition of 76 businesses and organizations is pushing the Supreme Court to rule once and for all that protections against sex discrimination in the workplace extend to LGBT people.

In a friend of the court brief, major companies including Facebook, Google, Starbucks, CBS Corp. and Lyft urged the court to hear the case of Jameka Evans, who is challenging a lower court ruling that sexual orientation is not a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Lambda Legal filed the appeal. 

Evans claims her former employer, Georgia Regional Hospital, violated her rights when it forced her out of her job as a security guard. She says she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation and her nonconformity to gender norms of appearance and demeanor.

In the amicus brief filed on Tuesday, the businesses wrote, “no one should be passed over for a job, paid less, fired, or subject to harassment or any other form of discrimination based on nothing more than their sexual orientation, which is inherently sex-based." 

“Creating workplaces in which employees are and feel safe from discrimination frees them to do their best work, with substantial benefits for their employers,” they wrote.

The companies argue that excluding sexual orientation from Title VII undermines the nation’s business interests.

"The U.S. economy is strengthened when all employees are protected from discrimination in the workplace," they said.

The groups noted that while 23 states and the District of Columbia protect workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation, the remaining 27 states do not offer explicit protections. 

"Unless this Court grants review, the same federal law will continue to be interpreted in opposite ways  based on nothing more than the happenstance of the state in which an employee lives," they wrote. "Such a lack of uniformity in the treatment of the same federal law creates significant business costs that federal employment discrimination law is intended to obviate." 

Read the brief below:

  Read brief by kballuck1 on Scribd