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Gender Identity Discrimination Is Wrong And Illegal In The Workplace

by | Apr 6, 2023 | Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Gender Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation Discrimination |

Today, I’m going to rant a bit. I’m mad.

But first, thank you Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers. If you don’t know, Bud Light honored transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney in a new promotion. Thank you to Jack Daniels for working with Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

These promotions prompted a lot of very public backlash by the likes of Travis Tritt, Kid Rock, and others. In response to social media posts by these famous transphobes, the comments are littered with people jumping in to openly profess their hatred of people that they will never meet or even remotely impact their lives. Why do these people feel the need to spread hatred? This is no better than men preaching to keep women out of the workforce, or Whites arguing for separate but equal even after 1954’s United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. History will remember these people as being just as horrible. But we don’t have the benefit of hindsight in the present.

In response to these transphobic social media posts, many have called for boycotts of Tritt, Rock, J.K. Rowling and others. On purely moral grounds, I agree. But I doubt protests will affect these wealthy entertainers’ lives very much. It certainly will not impact the lives of the sub-commenters at all.

So, as an employment discrimination lawyer, I have a few suggestions.

  • If companies, their owners, managers, or supervisors have publicly posted anti-trans content online or on social media, transgender Americans should apply for open jobs so that they can change the culture from the inside. However, should you not get the job or get fired or harassed when showing up on the first day in clothes reflecting their gender identity, you may have a very good case of employment discrimination or wrongful termination. Then call us so that we can represent you. Their hate-filled posts will be great evidence.
  • If you happen to work with one of these transphobes, you are protected from retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when you report your opposition to such conduct. Force your employer to address the situation head on. If you are fired after reporting the discriminatory conduct, call our lawyers for help suing.
  • Even if you don’t work at the same company, track some of the transphobic commenters to their places of employment and report them to management. In doing so, you are putting the company on notice of an employee’s potential to engage in unlawful workplace harassment and discrimination. Such notice increases the company’s risk for liability moving forward and may prompt the employer to act.

Will taking the above actions change the minds of these trans-haters? Unlikely. However, by demonstrating that there is a consequence for spewing this kind of discriminatory hate, you may quiet many of them, which in turn slows the spread of such views to neutral minds.

Best LGBTQ+ Rights Attorney Blogs on Point:

Do federal employment laws protect workers based on gender identity?

Yes. Transgender workers face significant challenges in the workplace, including discrimination and harassment. Fortunately, the law provides protections to transgender workers, including under Title VII. This law prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, and courts have increasingly recognized that discrimination against transgender individuals falls under this category. This blog will explore the employment rights of transgender workers under Title VII and discuss relevant cases.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The law prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, and promotions. While Title VII does not specifically mention gender identity or sexual orientation, courts have increasingly recognized that discrimination based on gender identity falls under the umbrella of sex discrimination. This interpretation is based on the idea that discrimination against transgender individuals is based on their failure to conform to traditional gender norms and stereotypes. As such, discrimination against transgender individuals is essentially discrimination based on sex.

Courts have recognized that discrimination against transgender individuals based on their gender identity is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII. In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989), the United States Supreme Court held that discrimination based on sex stereotyping is prohibited under Title VII. The case involved a female employee who was denied a promotion because she did not conform to traditional gender stereotypes. The Court held that such discrimination was based on sex and therefore violated Title VII.

Subsequently, in the case of Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2011), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that discrimination against a transgender woman because of her gender identity was a form of sex discrimination under Title VII. The case involved a transgender woman who was fired from her job as a state employee after she began living as a woman. The court held that the plaintiff was discriminated against because of her sex, as her gender identity was inherently tied to her sex.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. 1731 (2020), the United States Supreme Court expressly held that discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The decision was a landmark victory for LGBTQ+ rights and established that discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals is illegal under federal law.

In conclusion, workers are protected under Title VII from discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination based on their gender identity. While the law does not explicitly mention gender identity, courts have increasingly recognized that discrimination against transgender individuals falls under the umbrella of sex discrimination. Transgender workers may be entitled to protection against discrimination based on their gender identity, their transition, or a hostile work environment. They may also be entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Employers have a duty to prevent and address discrimination against transgender workers, and failure to do so can result in liability under Title VII.

Best Gender Identity Discrimination Lawyer Blogs on Point:

What can I do if my manager harasses me based on my gender identity?

If you facing sexual orientation discrimination, gender identity, or any other type of LGBTQ+ discrimination or harassment at work, or if you were wrongfully fired because you boss or manager is a homophobe, you should call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation. (Read: What is the Spitz No Fee Guarantee?; Why Having Skilled Employment Attorneys Is Critical; Employment Law: Avoid Hiring The Wrong Attorney). Call our lawyers in Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Kentucky to get help now. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its experienced attorneys are dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.


This employment law website is an advertisement. The transgender, gender identity, LGBTQ and sexual orientation information on today’s blog should be considered general information asn should not be thought of as giving legal advice or direct legal advice. In order to get direct legal advice from us, it is necessary for you to contact our top attorneys to obtain advice with respect to any particular employment law issue or problem. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.

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