The Historic Supreme Court Decision on Title VII and What it Means to Employees

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Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed attorney and HR consultant Hessam Parzivand. Parzivand is a regular on the Price of Business show. 

On a Recent Price of Business show, Host Kevin Price and guest Hassam Parzivand discussed the sweeping decision by the Supreme Court to expand  Title VII and what that means to businesses, employees, and the nation as a whole.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the law that protects individuals from discrimination based on sex, national orgin, race, color, and religion. In 1989, the Supreme Court decided that Title VII’s protections applied to cases where an individual did not conform to normative gender roles. For many years thereafter, individuals unsuccessfully argued that the sexual orientation of an individual should be covered under Supreme Court precedent regarding normative gender roles. Those arguments finally won the day in the most landmark decision regarding employment discrimination of this generation. Six supreme court justices signed on to an opinion by Justice Gorsuch that discrimination based on gender included discrmination based on sexual orientation. The strongest argument of the Respondents in the case was that the Title VII was not intended to cover discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status at the time it was passed. Justice Gorsuch gave a strong answer to those critics stating:

“But to refuse enforcement just because of that, because the parties before us happened to be unpopular at the time of the law’s passage, would not only require us to abandon our role as interpreters of statutes; it would tilt the scales of justice in favor of the strong or popular and neglect the promise that all persons are entitled to the benefit of the law’s terms.”
This law change will have dramatic effects on the legal landscape and HR practices of companies over the coming years. While many large companies had HR department’s that were respectful to individuals of different sexual orientations, now all companies will be legally mandated to be inclusive and not base employment decisions or harassment on sexual orientation.

Parzivand is an attorney in Houston, Texas that focuses on labor law. He is a long time contributor on the Price of Business show. Learn more about him at


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