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A U.S. Supreme Court ruling adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of discrimination protections under Title Vll of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The June 15 ruling means employers no longer will be able to terminate employees strictly on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Supreme Court Justices voted 6-3 to approve the changes to the law, which provides a catch-all protection that many state laws don’t include.

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor voted in favor of the change, according to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management. Justices Samuel Alito Jr., Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas voted in opposition.

Title VII prohibits employees from being discriminated based on color, national origin. Race, religion and sex. Employers with 15 or more employees are subject to Title VII regulations.

The Supreme Court ruling stipulates sexual orientation and gender identity will be covered under sex discrimination, a notion on which lower court justices have disagreed.

 

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