Perspective on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Employment Equality

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1992, P&G become one of the first Fortune 500 companies to include workplace protections for sexual orientation in our diversity policies.

Below are the statements from Shelly McNamara, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Senior VP of HR at P&G, and from Michael Chanak, a former P&G employee who led the effort to inspire our company to add a clause to the equal employment opportunity policy that protected the rights of gay people against discrimination at the workplace.

Perspective from Shelly McNamara:
“The Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark ruling affirming that the protections afforded to American workers under the Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. This decision has the power to change lives, as it sets an important legal precedent for the United States. Specifically, this decision ensures that LGBTQ+ people cannot be denied employment or fired from their jobs because of who they are. This decision enables human beings to more easily focus on their lives, their work, and the contributions they can make to the communities of which they are a part. This is a major step, and yet much work remains in the U.S. and around the world.”

“In fact, it remains true that many in the global LGBTQ+ community continue to fear retribution simply for being their true, authentic selves due to laws, legislation, and bias. The threat of losing or being denied housing, access to healthcare and other essential services still looms large for LGBTQ+ people in many places, including the United States. The “many” that I reference includes P&G employees and family members. So, as we celebrate Pride Month and this historic court decision, we must remain committed to stepping up in support of equity, equality and justice. Much work remains.”

Perspective from Michael Chanak, Former P&G Employee and Activist:
What with the coronavirus, Pride cancellations, virtual meetings, it has been an easy period to be distracted. Yet, when I got an alert on the SCOTUS decision, I stopped and read it again. This was the week SCOTUS would rule on cases of tremendous issue of import to the LGBTQ+ communities. Then, I found myself tearing up. Why?