Best Ohio Gender Discrimination Attorney Answer: Do I have any legal protections from workplace discrimination because I am transgender? Is transgender status a protected class? Can my job treat transgender employees different than other employees? Do I have a claim for wrongful termination if I was fired because I’m LGBT?
LGBT discrimination is a rapidly evolving area of employment law and our employment discrimination attorneys are on the forefront. (See Can My Employer Discriminate Against Me Because I Am LGBT? I Need A Lawyer!; Top Employment Lawyer Reply: Can My Job Discriminate Against Me Because Of My Sexual Orientation?; and Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination: ENDA In Sight?). Historically, gender identify has not been afforded the same protections as race, male and female gender, age, disability, religious, and national origin discrimination. Since many states, like Ohio, have resisted gender identity employment discrimination protections, the federal government has taken the lead.
Recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)decisions make clear that workplace discrimination against transgender people is discrimination based on sex and, thus, is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, late last year, Attorney General Eric Holder circulated a memo among Department of Justice (“DOJ“)attorneys stating that the DOJ will now interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as prohibiting discrimination based on gender status, including transgender and transitioning.
In keeping with its new policy, the DOJ recently brought suit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University for suspected discrimination against a transgender professor. The university hired Rachel Tudor as a tenure-track assistant professor of English in 2004. According to the lawsuit, Tudor applied for the post as a man, with a traditionally male name. In 2007, Tudor informed university officials that she would be transitioning to a woman during that school year and she began wearing traditionally female clothing and keeping a traditionally female hairstyle.
The lawsuit alleges that upon Tudor’s announcement a university HR employee warned her that one of the university’s senior administrators, Douglas McMillan, had inquired of the HR employee as to whether Tudor could be fired because her “transgender lifestyle” offended his religious beliefs.
In 2009, Tudor applied for tenure. Her tenure application was reviewed by her dean and McMillan. Even though Tudor’s department chair and other tenured faculty in her department backed her tenure application, it was denied by her dean and McMillan. Unlike a male faculty member whose tenure was denied, Tudor was not allowed to reapply. Despite earning a faculty award for her scholarship during the 2010-2011 academic year, Tudor was terminated in May of 2011 for failing to secure tenure.
Jenn Tobin, of the National Center for Transgender Equality, found it, “shocking that the leadership of a state university would, as this suit alleges, engage in such an elaborate scheme to push out a faculty member solely because she is transgender.”
In a press release, Attorney General Holder said of the lawsuit, “By standing beside Dr. Tudor, the Department of Justice sends a clear message that we are committed to eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity. We will not allow unfair biases and unjust prejudices to prevent transgender Americans from reaching their full potential as workers and as citizens. And we will continue to work tirelessly, using every legal tool available, to ensure that transgender individuals are guaranteed the rights and protections that all Americans deserve.”
If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have was wrongfully fired or terminated today;” or “I have been discriminated against because I am …” gay, a lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered; or even think that you might need an employment law lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Your employment rights are constantly changing and the best way to find out if you can sue your boss, manager, supervisor or employer for discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination is to call The Spitz Law Firm and talk to its attorneys, who are experienced and dedicated to protecting the rights of employees just like you.
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