One of the remarkable things about this decision was that it used a judicial approach favored by Justice Scalia to reach its result. Conservative jurisprudence often relies on a textualist approach that looks at the plain words and meaning of the statute and nothing else. Here, Justice Gorsuch analyzed the word “sex” in the statute against sex discrimination and construed it broadly based on its plain meaning. He found that who people choose to have sex with should not be a basis for discrimination.
Gorsuch was joined in the decision by Chief Justice Roberts. The remaining members of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court dissented. Nonetheless, the court opened up the possibility of discrimination lawsuits filed by members of the LGBT community. Now, there are federal law protections in addition to the 22 states that already had statutory provisions protecting LGBT workers from discrimination.
Employees who believe that they have suffered disparate treatment on the job based on their sexual orientation may contact an employment law attorney to learn more about how this decision affects their legal rights. They may be able to file a lawsuit to reverse the discriminatory decision or to recover damages for the treatment that they have suffered. Now, federal court is open to employees as they pursue justice.