Bostock, v. Clayton County

140 S.Ct. 1731 (2020)


Each of the three cases before us started the same way: An employer fired a long-time employee shortly after the employee revealed that he or she is homosexual or transgender-and allegedly for no reason other than the employee’s homosexuality or transgender status. Bostock (P) worked for Clayton County, Georgia, as a child welfare advocate. He began participating in a gay recreational softball league. Not long after that, influential members of the community allegedly made disparaging comments about Mr. Bostock’s (P) sexual orientation and participation in the league. Soon, he was fired for conduct “unbecoming” a county employee. Zarda (P) worked as a skydiving instructor at Altitude Express After several seasons with the company, Zarda (P) mentioned that he was gay and, days later, was fired. Aimee Stephens (P) worked at R. G. & G. R. Harris Funeral Homes.  When she got the job, Stephens (P) presented as a male. But two years after being diagnosed with gender dysphoria. In her sixth year with the company, Ms. Stephens (P) wrote a letter to her employer explaining that she planned to “ live and work full-time as a woman” after she returned from an upcoming vacation. The funeral home fired her before she left, telling her “this is not going to work out.” The Eleventh Circuit held that the law does not prohibit employers from firing employees for being gay and so Bostock's (P)  suit could be dismissed as a matter of law. The Second Circuit concluded that sexual orientation discrimination does violate Title VII and allowed Zarda's (P)  case to proceed. The Sixth Circuit reached a decision along the same lines as the Second Circuit’s, holding that Title VII bars employers from firing employees because of their transgender status. Mr. Zarda and Ms. Stephens have passed away. Their estates continue to press their causes for the benefit of their heirs. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.