Employment Non-Discrimination Policy

Produced by the HRC Foundation

An organization’s LGBTQ+ employees play a vital role in ensuring LGBTQ+ resident support and safety by informally educating their co-workers about resident concerns, offering feedback about organizational policies and practices, and conveying the organization’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion to the local community.

An employment non-discrimination policy that explicitly bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity ensures equal treatment for LGBTQ+ employees and also sends a welcoming message to LGBTQ+ job applicants, helping the organization retain and recruit a diverse, talented staff.

In areas without a state law prohibiting LGBTQ+ discrimination, adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to a non-discrimination policy affirms an employer’s commitment to workplace equity and inclusion. Explicit statements that long-term care communities are committed to LGBTQ+ non-discrimination can create a positive workplace environment and are deeply appreciated by LGBTQ+ members of the community.

The Bostock Decision & the LEI

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a 6-3 decision confirming that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are forms of “sex” discrimination and therefore are prohibited under the federal employment nondiscrimination law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The decision was major news for the LGBTQ+ community and had implications that can eventually reach civil rights laws forbidding discrimination in education, health care, housing, and many more areas of law. It is important to note that while Bostock brings meaningful protections to many LGBTQ+ people, Title VII applies only to employers with 15 or more employees, leaving many LGBTQ+ workers without these critical protections.

While Bostock explains that discrimination on the basis of sex necessarily includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, those words are not explicitly enumerated. For this reason, the Long-Term Care Equality Index criteria still require a company to have a nondiscrimination or equal employment opportunity policy that explicitly enumerates both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Clearly stating sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics remains a best practice to ensure employees and prospective employees, as well as managers and supervisors, understand the company’s commitment to nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

LEI Survey Questions

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