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Vincent Rizzo Addresses Potential Impact for Employers Following Landmark Ruling on LGBTQ Rights from SCOTUS

July 1, 2020

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States reached a historic 6-3 decision concerning the rights of LGBTQ+ employees. In its ruling, SCOTUS determined that sexual orientation and transgender status discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, which is protected under Title VII. Specifically, the Court found that "homosexuality and transgender status are inextricably bound up with sex," and that "it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex."

Hinshaw's Vincent Rizzo—an active member of the firm's LGBTQ Affinity Network, a member of Lambda Legal's Leadership Counsel, an executive board member of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC), and co-president of the Cook County Bar Association's LGBTQ section—presented a webinar on the decision, and also discussed its potential impact on employers with Business Insurance and Law360. A summary of his commentary follows below.

Business Insurance: Some work issues still unclear after Supreme Court's LGBTQ ruling

Speaking with reporter Judy Greenwald, Rizzo stated that the case is a huge win for the LGBTQ community. "The Supreme Court is sending a message that employers need to recognize LGBTQ rights," he said. As for the practical implications this will have on employers, Rizzo doesn't believe it will affect "everyday employee decisions," but rather "adverse employment tactics that affect work conditions or work pay," such as hiring decisions, terminations, promotions, and job placements.

Read the full article on the Business Insurance website

"Some work issues still unclear after Supreme Court's LGBTQ ruling," was published by Business Insurance on June 23, 2020.

Law360: Landmark LGBT Ruling May Create Change In Law Firms

In an article by Aebra Coe, Rizzo spoke to the impact of the decision on the legal industry and its practitioners. "This is sending a message recognizing the rights of LGBTQ-plus employees. I think that [the decision] in and of itself will further the idea that attorneys can confidently show up at work as their authentic selves." Rizzo also believes the decision will pave the way for attorneys who are discriminated against to bring federal lawsuits against their law firms. "I think we'll see somewhat of an increase in lawsuits against law firms and other legal employers in those states [that did not have laws protecting against LGTBQ+ discrimination]."

Read the full article on the Law360 website (subscription required)

"Landmark LGBT Ruling May Create Change In Law Firms," was published by Law360 on June 15, 2020.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. based law firm with offices nationwide and in London. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw also serves as counsel to the professional services sector, and provides business advisory and transactional services to clients of all sizes.