Keep An Eye On The Equality Act

Volume: 20 | Issue: 16
March 4, 2021

On February 25, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act. This Act seeks to ensure that federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The Act expressly amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment, to include discrimination against an employee’s actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation, protections already afforded to Nevada employees under Nevada law.

You may remember that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination extends to gay, lesbian, and transgender employees. The Equality Act seeks to ensure this ruling is incorporated into Title VII’s text. But it goes further than the Supreme Court’s decision by amending other federal statutes, such as public accommodation laws and fair housing laws, to ensure that lesbian, gay, and transgender people are free from discrimination in all aspects of life. As presently written, the Equality Act also prohibits any defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 such that an organization cannot rely on religious opposition to justify discrimination against gay, lesbian, or transgender persons.

The Equality Act is presently being considered by the U.S. Senate, and we will keep you updated on its progress.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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