Facebook, Google and Apple are among
the 76 companies asking the Supreme Court to hear a case involving a
woman who was fired because she's a lesbian.
The businesses and organizations want
the high court to rule that a civil rights law prohibits
discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation.
In September, LGBT law group Lambda
Legal turned to the Supreme Court after the 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 does not protect workers from discrimination based on
The plaintiff in the case is Jameka
Evans, a former security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital in
Savannah. In her lawsuit, filed in 2015, Evans claims that she was
targeted for harassment and effectively drummed out of her job
because she's gay.
Under President Barack Obama, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said that the federal law
barring workplace discrimination “because of … sex” includes
sexual orientation. President Donald Trump's administration has
taken the view that it does not.
In their brief filed Wednesday, the
businesses said that they and their employees would benefit from a
“uniform law” protecting gay and bisexual men and women.
“Businesses' first-hand experiences –
supported by extensive social-science research - confirm the
significant costs for employers and employees when sexual orientation
discrimination is not forbidden by a uniform law, even where other
policies exist against such discrimination,” the businesses wrote.
Two sports teams, the Tampa Bay Rays
and the Miami Heat, also signed on to the brief, as did American
Airlines, eBay, Starbucks and Microsoft.