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SCOTUS Rules LGBTQ+ Employees Protected in the Workplace

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Carlos Gutierrez, Deputy Director of LGBT Tech, was quoted in Future of Privacy Forum's blog on Monday. FPF is a long-standing partner of LGBT Tech. Click here to read the full blog post.

Monday gave the LGBTQ+ community cause for celebration when the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ employees deserve protections in the workplace. As of June 17, 2020, no employer in the United States can legally terminate anyone based on that person's sexual orientation or gender identity. The decision comes at a time when LGBTQ+ communities have been hit hard on multiple fronts. Issues like housing insecurity, healthcare discrimination, and unemployment have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many LGBTQ+ individuals struggling more than ever to survive. The Supreme Court decision is one step in the right direction toward LGBTQ+ equality in America.

“Today is a great day for the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ workers across the nation," writes Carlos Gutierrez, Deputy Director and General Counsel for LGBT Tech. Mr. Gutierrez was featured recently in a blog post from LGBT Tech partner organization Future of Privacy Forum. "The United States Supreme Court decision could not have come at a better time given the current COVID-19 crisis and the protests taking place across the country."

Mr. Gutierrez goes on to say that, while the Supreme Court's decision is certainly cause to celebrate, "there still remains much work to be done, especially around the areas of data and surveillance tools. The well-documented potential for abuse and misuse of these tools by unregulated corporations as well as government and law enforcement agencies should give serious pause to anyone who values their privacy - especially members of communities like ours that have been historically marginalized and discriminated against,”

While issues of surveillance should be taken seriously - LGBTQ+ individual's safety more often than not hinges on privacy - members of our community can rest a little easier knowing their sexual orientation or gender identity won't put their jobs at risk. To quote Mr. Gutierrez one last time: “Today’s decision will protect over 8 million LGBT workers from work discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is especially heartening given that 47% or 386,000 of LGBTQ health care workers, people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle, live in states that had no legal job discrimination protections.”

The full Future of Privacy Forum blog can be found here.

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