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EEOC Unlawful Discharge Lawsuit Claiming Transgender Discrimination Settles

Sexual Orientation Discrimination - type of discrimination - word cloud.

On December 1, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has entered into a Consent Decree settling a sex discrimination lawsuit filed against R.G. & R.G. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. (RG Harris) alleging unlawful discharge against a transgender employee. On September 25, 2014, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. R.G. & R.G. Funeral Homes, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-13710, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Prior to initiating the civil action, the EEOC first attempted to secure a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process. Unable to settle the case through its use of informal methods of conciliation, the EEOC exercised its statutory authority to resolve the alleged discriminatory employment practices through litigation.
In the Consent Decree, which was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox on November 30, 2020, RG Harris agreed to pay $250,000 to resolve the sex discrimination lawsuit. In this article, our Ocala, Florida lawyers for transgender discrimination explain the EEOC’s allegations of transgender discrimination against RG Harris.

Legal Protection For Transgender Workers

The EEOC filed the sex discrimination lawsuit pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of a former employee of RG Harris, Aimee Stephens (Stephens). Title VII, which is the lynchpin of Congressional efforts to eliminate discriminatory employment practices from the American workplace, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Discrimination against employees on the basis of transgender status is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. Thus, Title VII makes discrimination on the basis of transgender status an unlawful discriminatory employment practice. When a transgender employee is fired on the basis of his or her transgender status, the employee has been unlawfully discharged in violation of Title VII.

The EEOC claims that RG Harris violated Title VII by terminating Stephens because of her transgender status. In terminating Stephens because of her transgender status, the EEOC contends that RG Harris unlawfully discriminated against Stephens on the basis of sex.

EEOC Claims Transgender Discrimination

RG Harris is a funeral home company based in Detroit, Michigan. In October 2007, Stephens began working for RG Harris as a Funeral Director/Embalmer at its facility in Garden City, Michigan. Stephens is a transgender woman. On July 31, 2013, Stephens informed RG Harris and her co-workers in a letter that she was undergoing a gender transition from male to female and intended to dress in appropriate business attire at work as a woman from then on, asking for their support and understanding. On August 15, 2013, RG Harris fired Stephens, telling her that what she was “proposing to do” was unacceptable. Based on the remarks that Stephens’ gender transition from male to female was unacceptable, the EEOC claims that RG Harris fired Stephens because Stephens is transgender and because Stephens did not conform the RG Harris’ gender-based stereotypical expectations.

Lawyers For Transgender Discrimination

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal employment laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace. As part of its administrative enforcement of the federal employment laws, the EEOC has the statutory authority to file lawsuits on behalf of employees subjected to unlawful discriminatory employment practices, including employees discriminated against on the basis of transgender status. In a press release issued by the EEOC on December 1, 2020 regarding the case, a trial attorney for the EEOC’s Detroit Field Office, Dale Price, explained that the “law is now clear that discrimination against an employee because of his or her transgender status is sex discrimination.”

Ocala, FL Lawyers For Transgender Discrimination

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida attorneys for transgender discrimination have fought for the rights of workers in Florida courts for more than twenty years. If you have been discriminated against on the basis of transgender status or have questions about your protection against transgender discrimination under the federal employment laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida lawyers for transgender discrimination. Our employment and labor law attorneys take employment discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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