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Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Key Date: June 15, 2020
Status: U.S. Supreme Court Has Ruled
Legal Team: Buckley Beal, LLP
Type: Employment Discrimination

Bostock v. Clayon County Case Overview:

Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia is a case concerning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legal team contends that his firing is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, and which the legal team argues applies to sexual orientation.

The case is especially significant on a national level because it argues, as many courts have ruled in the past, that existing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on sex also extend to discrimination based on sexual orientation. Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against people based on their sex – and many litigators over the course of many years have successfully argued that this also protects LGBT people from employment discrimination.

Latest in the Case:

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 in favor of Gerald Bostock and in two other LGBTQ workplace discrimination cases (Altitude Express v. Zarda, R.G. & G.R. Funeral Homes v. EEOC), definitively stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Case History:

  • November 13, 2017After the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismisses Bostock’s case, his legal team petitions for an en banc hearing before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • May 10, 2018The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denies Bostock’s petition for an en banc rehearing and affirms the lower court’s dismissal of Bostock’s Title VII claims.
  • May 25, 2018Bostock and his attorneys files a cert. petition with the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • July 2, 2018: Response from the other party and “friend-of-the-court” briefs are filed.
  • July 20, 2018: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit denies en banc review in the case. Judge Robin Rosenbaum issues a strongly worded dissent that takes the court to task for its inaction, saying, “I cannot explain why a majority of our Court is content to rely on the precedential equivalent of an Edsel with a missing engine, when it comes to an issue that affects so many people.”
  • January 4, 2019:  With the case fully briefed, the cert. petition is distributed for the January 4 conference at the U.S. Supreme Court, the first chance for the Justices to take action on the petition.The Justices take no action at this conference or nine additional conferences held from January through April 2019.
  • April 22, 2019: The U.S. Supreme Court grants review in this case and two others that concern anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination. The cases will be heard in the Court’s 2019-2020 term.
  • August 16, 2019: The employer in the case files its brief in the case, taking a stance in favor of anti-transgender discrimination. The Department of Justice agrees in its brief as well.
  • October 8, 2019: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in this case and two others concerning whether Title VII prohibits anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
  • June 15, 2020: The U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-3 in favor of Gerald Bostock and in two other LGBTQ workplace discrimination cases (Altitude Express v. Zarda, R.G. & G.R. Funeral Homes v. EEOC), definitively stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Last Updated June 17, 2020


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