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Tech giants praise Supreme Court ruling on protections for LGBTQ workers

Apple, Google and Facebook CEOs share their support of the LGBTQ community following the ruling.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook says he's "grateful" for the Supreme Court ruling on civil rights for LGBTQ workers.

James Martin/CNET

The chief executives of Apple, Google and Facebook on Monday praised a US Supreme Court ruling that federal civil rights law protects LGBTQ workers. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed his gratitude for the ruling on Twitter. 

"Grateful for today's decision by the Supreme Court," said Cook in a tweet. "LGBTQ people deserve equal treatment in the workplace and throughout society, and today's decision further underlines that federal law protects their right to fairness." 

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also supported the Supreme Court decision. 

"Today's SCOTUS decision is another step forward in the fight for equality for all LGBTQ+ people," said Pichai in a tweet on Monday. "We stand with our LGBTQ+ employees, including our trans community."

Google will also be donating $1.2 million to 70 LGBTQ organizations worldwide along with another $1.2 million to The Trevor Project, the nation's largest crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, the search giant said in a blog post on Monday. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to his Facebook account to voice support for the Supreme Court ruling. 

"Today's Supreme Court ruling that the Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ+ people in the workplace is a huge step forward in fighting against discrimination, said Zuckerberg in a post on Monday. "The LGBTQ+ community deserves fair and equal treatment just like everyone else, and I'm glad our highest court has affirmed those rights."

The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that it's illegal for an employer to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The ruling adds people who identify as LGBTQ to those protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. 

"In Title VII, Congress adopted broad language making it illegal for an employer to rely on an employee's sex when deciding to fire that employee," wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in the majority opinion. "We do not hesitate to recognize today a necessary consequence of that legislative choice: An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law." 

More than 200 companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, signed a "friend of the court" brief in 2019 asking the Supreme Court to acknowledge that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The brief urges the court that not providing protections for LGBTQ employees would have a wide-range of consequences for the US economy. 

Earlier this year, Google, Apple and 38 other tech companies, published an open letter opposing anti-LBGTQ legislation. The letter expresses concern on legislation across the US that could have negative effects for those in the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender youth. 

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