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Supreme Court just the beginning for LGBTQ workplace equality

Media Contact

Rachel Rhodes

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case Bostock v. Clayton County, finding it illegal for employers to discriminate against LGBTQ workers.


Katrina Nobles

Director of Conflict Programs

Katrina Nobles is the Director of Conflict Programs at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a faculty member at the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution. She says that there are still several steps companies and individuals should take to ensure rights for LGBTQ employees and others in the workplace.

Nobles says:

“While the SCOTUS decision this morning may change the face of the workplace by providing broader rights to the LBGTQ workforce, there are many more things companies and individuals will have to face before positive change will take hold. Let’s be clear though, these changes apply to more than simply LBGTQ rights.

“An integrated conflict management system. In the absence of a system with multiple access points to resolution, most claims are shifted to rights-based claims that lead to litigation because it is the only path available. 

 “An underlying culture of trust. If a company has traditionally been homophobic and the employees know that, it is not likely a conflict management system or procedure will be readily used. 

“A culture supported by data. Where there is a lack of data or lack of transparency, assumptions can fill the data void, leading to distrust and a lack of understanding regarding what a company or organization is doing. 

“A level of competency with having difficult conversations. An organization must be prepared to organize, lead and facilitate difficult conversations. And, each individual within the organization should have a level of competency regarding one on one difficult conversations. 

“A shift to reflection, assessment and recognition through action both individually and organizationally. This shift can include being an ally and being able to ask for the assistance of an ally. It can also include reflecting on and changing daily practices. As a leader or supervisor this may include how you run a meeting, how you choose a project team, who you choose to take the lead on a project or program, how you recognize promotion ability of an employee, and more.”


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