Bostock v. Clayton County: Sexual Orientation and Transgender Discrimination Under Title VII

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, August 7, 2020

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will explore the Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., that terminating an employee for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Our expert panel of employment attorneys will address the guidance provided in this decision and how to interpret the decision in conjunction with state laws that allow for termination on those grounds.


On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ individuals from employment discrimination. The ruling came down on a 6-3 split decision with Justice Gorsuch writing the majority opinion.

The issue came before the Supreme Court as a consolidation of three different cases alleging discriminatory terminations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These cases all turned on whether employment decisions based on homosexuality or transgender status fall within the definition of "because of … sex" under Title VII. The various circuit courts deciding these cases had split on this question.

Justice Gorsuch's opinion rests on "textualism" and looked to the dictionary definition of the language in Title VII to determine "whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender." The conclusion was, "the answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex."

Further, the Court found that "it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex." The Court's use of "textualism" provides a framework for how to handle sexual orientation and other types of discrimination cases and how the Court may rule in future matters where definitions and the intended extent of the law are unclear.

Listen as our authoritative panel describes the reach of the decision of Bostock and what the use of textualism may teach about how the Court will determine future cases.



  1. History of the case
    1. Bostock
    2. Zarda
    3. Stephens
  2. Ruling
    1. Textualism
  3. Future guidance from the ruling
    1. The intersection of religious rights and employment discrimination laws.


The panel will review these and other issues:

  • How the Court used textualism to rule in favor of LGBTQ employment rights
  • What challenges did the dissents present to future discrimination claims?
  • What are the concerns about the use of textualism in future cases?
  • How the Court’s decision may impact the definition of “because of” in other discrimination lawsuits.


Bachman, Eric
Eric Bachman

Zuckerman Law

Mr. Bachman holds extensive litigation experience, including trials in federal and state courts, and has also set...  |  Read More

Kiely, Christy
Christy E. Kiely

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Ms. Kiely's practice encompasses employment litigation, EEOC charges, #MeToo investigations, pay equity analyses,...  |  Read More

Turner, Sarah
Sarah N. Turner

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

Ms. Turner's litigation experience includes defending employers in wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...  |  Read More

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