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What Does the “Rouch World” Decision Mean For Michigan Employees?

What Does the “Rouch World” Decision Mean For Michigan Employees?

Our society as a whole believes it is wrong to discriminate in the workplace based on things like race, gender, or sexual orientation, but sometimes it takes the law a while to catch up. The Michigan Supreme Court helped catch up during the waning days of July.

In the case of Rouch World v. Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the Michigan Supreme Court held that Michigan’s civil rights statute – the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) – prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

This decision effectively brings Michigan employment and civil rights laws in line with our population’s values and convictions. There is no longer any gray area about who is protected under the terms of the ELCRA – people of all sexual orientations are protected against workplace discrimination, evictions, and other discrimination.

What does this mean for you if you work in Michigan?

It means it is illegal for your employer to fire you or take other punitive action based on your sexual orientation. However, it does not mean that all employers will automatically comply. Some employers will continue to take action – stealthily or clumsily – against employees based on their sexual orientation, much like some employers still discriminate against women and minorities.

If you believe you are a victim of discrimination due to your sexual orientation, an experienced employment law attorney can help you protect your rights and seek compensation.

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