Federal court rules transgender people covered by law banning workplace sex bias

Federal court rules transgender people covered by law banning workplace sex bias

Federal court rules transgender people covered by law banning workplace sex bias

A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that a MI funeral home violated federal civil rights law when it terminated transgender employee Aimee Stephens for deciding to dress as a woman. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, which operates three funeral homes in MI. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home in Garden City from 2007 until her firing in 2013.

Thus, even if we agreed with the Funeral Home that Rost's religious exercise would be substantially burdened by enforcing Title VII in this case, we would nevertheless REVERSE the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Funeral Home and hold instead that requiring the Funeral Home to comply with Title VII constitutes the least restrictive means of furthering the government's compelling interest in eradicating discrimination against Stephens on the basis of sex.

"Today's decision is an exciting and important victory for transgender people and allied communities across the country", John Knight, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project, said in a statement.

Discrimination against a worker based on gender identity or because the person is transitioning between genders is sex discrimination that violates existing federal law, a federal appeals court held in a landmark ruling. She said his employment was terminated "on the basis of her transgender or transitioning status and her refusal to conform to sex-based stereotypes".

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the funeral home, said in a statement released Wednesday that the ruling "re-writes federal law and is directly contrary to decisions from other federal appellate courts".

"That could be a religious belief that someone has, but at this same time most people understand that it's wrong to decriminalize, and it's wrong to fire someone from their job that they're doing perfectly well just because they're transgender".

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According to Kaplan, employment discrimination against transgender people is pervasive and, as a result, many live in poverty; so this decision "gives a great deal of hope to a lot of people out there". According to the ruling, Stephens worked at Harris Funeral Homes "while living and presenting as a man".

Cox said the funeral home was protected by a religious exemption under federal law, but the appeals court disagreed, reversed the ruling Wednesday, March 7, and sent the case back to the District Court for further proceedings. McCabe said his organization is "consulting with our client to consider their options for appeal". The basis for the termination was that by dressing as a women, Stephens would violate the dress code for the business and that would place a substantial burden on the religious beliefs of the funeral home's owner, Thomas Rost. "We are thrilled for Aimee, and for all trans folks, to be able to announce this win today".

Whether Title VII anti-discrimination laws in employment extend to sexual orientation and gender identity is an issue that's been has been widely disputed.

The case is the latest to weigh in on whether Title VII relates to gender identity and sexual orientation, something the Department of Justice has fought under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Writing the 49-page unanimous opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Karen Nelson Moore, a Clinton appointee, determined R.G. The ACLU Foundation's Jay D. Kaplan and Daniel S. Korobkin also represented Stephens.

The case now will return to Cox's courtroom for additional work, including the EEOC's claim that the funeral home's clothing allowance policy was discriminatory.

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