Five New Jersey companies join a group of over 200 that filed an amicus brief Wednesday to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to rule that a federal ban on sex discrimination protects LGBTQ individuals from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal will join attorneys general from 20 other states to file a similar amicus brief.
The cases involved are Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga.; Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC.
In R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC, Aimee Stephens was allegedly fired from her job as a funeral director after coming out as transgender. In Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, skydiving instructor Donald Zarda was allegedly fired from his job because of his sexual orientation; and in Bostock v. Clayton County, county child welfare services coordinator Gerald Lynn Bostock was allegedly fired from his job when his employer learned he is gay.
“While the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, many New Jersey residents commute to jobs in other states that lack such protections, so New Jersey has a strong interest in making sure federal law protects LGBT workers from discrimination,” said Rachel Wainer Apter, director of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, in a statement. “On the merits, the Supreme Court should recognize that discrimination against a person because of the gender they identify as or the gender of the person they love is clearly discrimination based on sex.”
Ascena Retail Group Inc. of Mahwah, Chubb of Warren, Lord Abbett of Jersey City, Prudential Financial Inc. of Newark, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. of Parsippany signed an amicus brief authored by Los Angeles law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.
The brief has more corporate signers than any previous business brief in an LGBTQ non-discrimination case, according to gay rights organization the Human Rights Campaign.