Adam Sencenbaugh in HR Magazine: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Workplace: Updating Policies and Training

06/18/2020

HR Magazine quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Adam Sencenbaugh in an article about policies and practices employers should have in place that are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) employees following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that LGBTQ workers are protected by federal employment anti-discrimination law.

Here is an excerpt:

In a 6-3 ruling on June 15, the high court said that an employer who fires a worker merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Even before the Supreme Court ruling, employers for a large segment of the workforce already adopted LGBTQ-inclusive polices, observed Adam Sencenbaugh, an attorney with Haynes and Boone in Austin, Texas. "But for those who haven't, now is the time to do it."

The Supreme Court used the following example to illustrate this point:

So an employer who fires a woman, Hannah, because she is insufficiently feminine and also fires a man, Bob, for being insufficiently masculine may treat men and women as groups more or less equally. But in both cases the employer fires an individual in part because of sex. Instead of avoiding Title VII exposure, this employer doubles it.

Employers should be sure to have clear anti-harassment and anti-discrimination standards, Sencenbaugh said. Train managers to understand that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is a form of sex discrimination and make sure they know how to respond appropriately—and take matters seriously—when they get complaints.

To read the full article, click here.

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