The U.S. Supreme Court will hear three cases in the next term to determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects employees from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sex stereotyping.

Federal courts have been divided on whether Title VII protects employees from sex discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  The Supreme Court will hear two of the cases together in order to resolve a circuit split on the issue. One of the cases, from New York, ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The other case, from Georgia, ruled the opposite, namely that Title VII does not apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation. The third case, from Michigan, found that Title VII protects an employee from sexual discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.

Connecticut law already provides some of the most robust protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  However, the Supreme Court’s decision will likely provide a definitive answer as to whether such protections also arise under federal law. In addition, the Court’s decision could have an impact on the next Presidential campaign and other states’ discrimination laws.

Stay tuned as we track the latest developments in labor and employment law!