Despite recent advances, people in this country are still being fired, harassed and targeted at work because they are LGBT. Workplace issues are the number one concern among callers to Lambda Legal’s Help Desk.
In June 2020, the Supreme Court vindicated decades of work by Lambda Legal and others by holding definitively that the prohibition on sex discrimination in our federal employment discrimination law includes a prohibition on discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status. Leading up to that decision, Lambda Legal filed briefs in three cases at the Supreme Court in 2019 and secured a victory in 2017 in the landmark Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College case before the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Hively victory marked the first federal Court of Appeals ruling that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law. Also in 2017, Lambda Legal argued as a “friend of the court” in Zarda v. Altitude Express before the full Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Lambda Legal further served as counsel of record in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital in the Eleventh Circuit, and won a landmark victory on behalf of a Georgia state employee who was fired for being transgender in Glenn v. Brumby, also in the Eleventh Circuit. Three of Lambda Legal’s successful efforts in 2014, in federal courts in Seattle, Chicago, and Washington D.C., were cited in Baldwin v. Foxx by the EEOC in 2015, the agency decision that gave a powerful endorsement to the logic of our cases, which the Supreme Court agreed with five years later.