HRMT413 Week 3 Discussion
This week, we will discuss the Bostock decision and its impact on discrimination based on sex. Please answer all questions below.
1. Summarize the Bostock decision. Who were the parties? What was the dispute? How did the court rule? How has the court's ruling changed the legal landscape around discrimination based on sex?
2. With the ruling in Bostock in mind, is an employer legally permitted to force a transgendered employee to use the restroom that corresponds to their birth sex? Why or why not?
The case of Gerald Bostock vs. Clayton County, GA, was a very interesting case because it was not just one specific case, and became a milestone changed the dynamics of future cases. First thing is, discriminations like these have been happening for decades, so for these cases to win, it was huge and a indicator for changes to come.
The case was argued in October 2019 and final decision was made in June 2020. The three cases that fell under Bostock vs. Clayton County GA included;
Gerald Bostock was fired from his job after he played softball in a recreational league. The court ruled in favor of Gerald Bostock, making it illegal for an employer to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Donald Zarda was fired days after mentioning he was gay.
Aimee Stephens was fired because, during the hiring, she presented herself as a male and after being hired, informed her employer that she planned to live and work as a woman.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bostock, stating that, it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In our reading, it stated that, since this case, the Bostock decision logic has been applied to Title IX, specifically mentioning sex discrimination in Educational Institutions, Fair Housing Act, Affordable Care Act for Healthcare and a section under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In addition, that ruling affected the use of alternative bathrooms for transgendered students. August of 2020, the school board violated Title XI by requiring a transgendered student to use alternate private restrooms. Based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the logic based on Bostock vs. Clayton County GA, requiring transgendered to use a private or alternate bathroom is a violation.
I read in an article on the SHRM.ORG website, called, “How should a company handle issues related to the use of workplace restrooms by transgendered employees”, it stated companies must allow Transgender employees to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, regardless of assigned sex at birth.
However, in the military, it is slightly different. The Biden administration reversed former President Trumps policies on Transgendered serving in the military. The guidelines were stated in a Department of Defense Instruction/Policy in April of 2020. Based on the previous policy, transgendered troops were forced to remain in their birth gender, or if diagnosed by a military Doctor with Gender Dysphoria, were allowed to finish their hormone treatment but, no one would be allowed to enter into the military.
The Biden administration changed that policy. Open transgender are allowed to serve and enter into the military. When it comes to utilization of bathroom facilities, the military member MUSTcontinue to use the bathroom that corresponds to their birth Gender, which is the same gender that is documented upon entry into the military until, the Gender Transition is complete.
In short, if Bob Smith decides he wants to change his gender identity to Susan Smith; he has to meet all military standards of a male, to include bathroom, until a completed gender dysphoria diagnosis and a military medical provider determines the gender transformation is complete and, finally the Service Member’s gender marker has been changed in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting Systems (DEERS); which is part of the Master data storage system that holds most of the service members information. All three must be completed before the Service Member can self-identify as the new gender.
Finally, to include Non-binary; which are people who do not fully associate themselves as Male or Female; they should use the restroom that they feel the safest in.
Department of Defense. (2021, April). “In-Service Transition for Transgendered Service Members,” April 30, 2021. Department of Defense, Virgina S. Penrod, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/130028p.pdf
SHRM. (2020, June 17). How should a company handle issues related to the use of workplace restrooms by transgender employees? SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/workplacerestroomsfortransgenderemployee.aspx