After considering the petitions at eleven separate private conferences, on April 22, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases involving the extent of protection provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – if any – against employment-based discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. As we previously reported here, this issue has been watched closely by the nation, with multiple federal courts, government agencies, and employers reaching differing conclusions. The Court consolidated the two sexual orientation cases, Altitude Express v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, and allocated a total of one hour for oral argument for both cases. In the gender identity case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al., the Court limited its consideration to only the question of whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U. S. 228 (1989).
The Court will hear argument in these cases next term, which means that it’s possible that a decision may not issue until as late as June 2020. We will continue to update you with ongoing developments in these cases.