Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Discrimination in Texas
On Monday, June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision for Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020). By a vote of 6-3, the Court held that an employer who fires an employee for being homosexual or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”). The Bostock decision resolved a circuit court split as to whether Title VII applied to LGBTQ+ employment discrimination.
Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that “because discrimination on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status requires an employer to intentionally treat individual employees differently because of their sex, an employer who intentionally penalizes an employee for being homosexual or transgender also violates Title VII.
In Tarrant County College District v. Sims, Case No. DC-19-18217-CV, (Tex. App. 5th Dist.). Ms. Sims asserts that Texas Court should follow the holding of the Supreme Court of the United States in Bostock, to hold that the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (“TCHRA”) prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This case has not been decided and whether the TCHRA prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity remains an open question under state law.