The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear a trio of historic LGBT+ rights cases, the outcomes of which could decide whether LGBT+ people are protected from employment discrimination under existing federal civil rights laws. The three cases all address issues of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Today, Citi joins a group of leading U.S. employers, LGBT+ and civil rights organizations in signing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court encouraging the Court to consider workplace protections for LGBT+ individuals as covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Federal civil rights legislation has not explicitly referenced protections for LGBT+ individuals as it has with other protected classes, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government.
Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not list 'sexual orientation and gender identity' as protected characteristics along with race, but it does list sex. The amicus brief states that, whilst 22 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender in private employment, 28 states have not. That leaves an estimated 44% of the nation's LGBT+ population working in states where they could potentially be subject to discrimination in the workplace without the same guarantees.
At Citi, we respect the civil and employment rights of all our employees. Citi's policies support equality and mobility. We stand firmly in support of LGBT+ equality and protections everywhere.
We are proud to stand alongside more than 200 businesses, led by the Human Rights Campaign and leading civil rights and LGBT+ organizations, in signing the brief urging the Supreme Court to secure the rights of the LGBT+ community against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. We thank our colleague Jo-Anne Kelly, Citi's General Counsel for Employment Law, for participating in the working group of attorneys that provided input in the drafting of the brief.
Earlier this year, Citi joined the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, a group of leading U.S. employers that support the enactment by U.S. Congress of the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBT+ people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law. The Equality Act has thus far been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
We believe that we all have a role to play in developing a path towards full equality and inclusion. We are proud to lend our voice to these historic cases, and are ready to continue to support LGBT+ community -- because everyone deserves to be protected from discrimination.