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What the Supreme Court's LGBTQ Ruling Means for HR

A list of considerations for HR managers and employers after the Supreme Court's LGBTQ ruling.

Aimie Ye

by Aimie Ye - August 6th, 2020


On June 15th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sex and gender orientation. Whereas previously Title VII of the Civil Rights Act did not explicitly include “sexual orientation” in its terms, the High Court’s ruling provided clarity that discrimination based on sex includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. 

Gender and sex discrimination have unfortunately been present for years in hiring, termination, lay-off, training and disciplinary measures within organizations, so this ruling is a significant victory for the LGBTQ community. The act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender workers from being discriminated against, whereas previously most states did not provide protections for LGBTQ community members.

So what does the ruling mean for HR? There are new considerations for employers to review in regards to existing hiring and ongoing processes. We’ve compiled a list of items that may need review after the court ruling. 

Considerations for HR

Employee Handbooks 

Review and update your employee handbooks so they’re not only compliant with the changing laws, but also reflect your cultural values of inclusion, and protect your employees. Handbooks should also be easily accessible by all team members. 

With HR software like GoCo, you can add employee handbooks directly to employee profiles for their reference. In addition, you can streamline updates, send them out to everyone in your organization when changes are made, and collect acknowledgements and signatures digitally.

Our On-Demand HR Support Center also provides free employee handbook customization if you want help from an HR pro with updating your documents to be more inclusive. 

Employee Policies

Similar to your handbook, make sure employee policies encourage team members to bring their whole, authentic selves to work. Take a look at policies that might disenfranchise people, from dress code to anti-harassment policies and trainings. Keep everyone up to date with changes by having a central point where team members can see the latest versions of your policies. GoCo’s employee profile is where team members check pay stubs and time off in a consolidated platform -- why not house important policies there as well?

If you need help customizing your policies, or have questions about specific scenarios related to your employees, GoCo’s HR Support Center provides on-demand help from certified HR pros to help you ensure your policies are inclusive and in-compliance.

Diversity & Inclusion Mission Statement

Now is a great time to update your organization’s diversity & inclusion mission statement, or craft a statement  if you don’t already have one. You can put this in a customized document that employees must sign while onboarding, and have them acknowledged in various places of the documents. With GoCo’s Magic Docs, you can easily transform any document into signable and fillable forms that can be reported on and stored in the system. This enables new hires to understand how important inclusion is to the company. We can highlight what we treasure!

Review Complaint Protocols

Continue to elevate different pieces in your ongoing work processes that encourage diversity and inclusion. Build automated workflows that remind your team about various policies, procedures and knowledge that are central to your core business values.

How GoCo Can Help

Here at GoCo, we’re committed to supporting HR professionals being called upon to review and improve diversity & inclusion efforts in organizations. Schedule a demo to see how our all-in-one platform can help improve your HR processes, from automating your checklists to updating policies and documents, to On-Demand HR Support to help you stay in compliance. Together, we can continue to support the LGBTQ community to spark meaningful change in the workplace. 

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