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Supreme Court Signals Interest in LGBT Job Bias Cases

Jan. 7, 2019, 6:04 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court relisted for review a trio of cases that address whether employers can discriminate against LGBT workers without violating federal civil rights law.

The justices are now scheduled to consider whether to accept the cases at the court’s Jan. 11 conference.

Relisting a petition for certiorari at more than one conference has, in recent terms, been a sign that the court is more likely to grant review. The cases had been scheduled for discussion at its Jan. 4 conference.

The question in the cases is whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans sex discrimination in the workplace, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Two cases address sexual orientation and the third addresses gender identity.

If the court wants to hold oral argument before the term ends in June, it has to grant review by mid-January so it has enough time to complete briefing. It could grant review after January and schedule argument for the fall.

The cases are R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC, U.S., No. 18-107, relisted 1/7/19; Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, U.S., No. 17-1623, relisted 1/7/19; Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, U.S., No. 17-1618, relisted 1/7/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at jsteingart@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com