ASBC HAILS LANDMARK SUPREME COURT DECISION UPHOLDING CIVIL RIGHTS OF LGBTQ WORKERS

Media Release

“Coming in the middle of Pride Month, this decision is a welcome blow against intolerance that makes America and our economy fairer and more inclusive, which will ultimately make us more successful,” said David Levine, ASBC President. “That is the central mission of ASBC and the nearly 250,000 businesses we represent. We were proud to join the arguments on behalf of this case and we are thrilled at the outcome.”

(Washington, DC) – June 15, 2020

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) hailed Monday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that will protect the rights of millions of workers from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status as a “blow against intolerance.”

In a case in which ASBC joined several other business groups in a brief in support of LGBTQ workers, the Court ruled that language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. This language comes from Title VII of the Act which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex.

The surprising 6-3 decision from this increasingly conservative court upheld rulings from lower courts that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While some states have already adopted job protections for LGBTQ workers, today’s decision protects them in every state.

“Coming in the middle of Pride Month, this decision is a welcome blow against intolerance that makes America and our economy fairer and more inclusive, which will ultimately make us more successful,” said David Levine, ASBC President. “That is the central mission of ASBC and the nearly 250,000 businesses we represent.  We were proud to join the arguments on behalf of this case and we are thrilled at the outcome.”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a good win for small businesses,” said Frank Knapp, President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and an ASBC Board member. “Sexual discrimination by any employer in a state negatively impacts the recruiting of talented LGBTQ workers for all businesses in that state because potential employees that happen to be LGBTQ are less likely to move to a state that allows discrimination. We also know that an employee’s productivity is harmed if they must hide something that can get them terminated or reduces their future job prospects.”

In their amici curiae brief, ASBC and several other business organizations argued that providing these kinds of protections against discrimination on behalf of LGBTQ workers was critical to the intent of the Act. In addition to promoting a more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace, ending discrimination against gay and transgender individuals would enhance business performance and boost the economy. Studies have shown that LGBTQ-inclusive businesses thrive compared to less inclusive ones because employees who are able to openly express their LGBTQ identity at work are more productive in the workplace and experience increased job satisfaction.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is the leading business organization serving the public policy interests of responsible companies, their customers and other stakeholders. Founded in 2009, its membership represents over 250,000 businesses in a wide range of industries. ASBC advocates for policy change and informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, broadly prosperous, sustainable economy.