LGBTQIA+ Discrimination

87 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2022

See all articles by Zsea Bowmani

Zsea Bowmani

University of Toledo - College of Law

Ezra Cukor

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Date Written: November 1, 2021


In June 2020, The US Supreme Court decided a trio of cases wherein it acknowledged for the first time that federal workplace protections apply to discrimination against lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people (LGBTQIA+). In the landmark decision Bostock v. Clayton County, the Court held that an employer who fires someone for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although Title VII has prohibited sex discrimination since its enactment, early decisions rejected claims that LGBTQIA+ people were protected within the statute’s ambit. As a result, an employee’s ability to seek redress for anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination against a private employer depended on their zip code, even under federal law. The Supreme Court’s forthright decision opened courthouse doors throughout the country to LGBTQIA+ workers.

Winning a workplace discrimination case can be devilishly difficult, especially for low-income workers who often face formidable barriers even to access counsel. Because LGBTQIA+ people face significant hostility and misunderstanding from a variety of social forces, including some courts, lawyers litigating for equal treatment for their LGBTQIA+ clients must innovate and educate as well as advocate. Not only does discrimination in the workplace injure and deprive individual LGBTQIA+ workers of their livelihoods, it stigmatizes LGBTQIA+ people as a group.

This November 2021 update has been thoroughly revised to include new case law, statutes, regulations, and other developments affecting LGBTQIA+ discrimination in the workplace.

Keywords: lgbt, lgbtq, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, sex, employment, discrimination, labor, law, title vii

Suggested Citation

Bowmani, Zsea and Cukor, Ezra, LGBTQIA+ Discrimination (November 1, 2021). University of Toledo Legal Studies Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Zsea Bowmani (Contact Author)

University of Toledo - College of Law ( email )

2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, OH 43606
United States

Ezra Cukor

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund ( email )

520 8th Ave. Suite 2204
New York, NY 10018
United States

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