Did Retailer Sax Back Down In Transgender Case?
February 9, 2015
In the latest twist in a case in the Southern District of Texas, defendant Sax & Company has withdrawn its motion to dismiss a discrimination case that was filed by an employee who was born male but identifies as a woman. The plaintiff in Jamal v. Saks & Company said she was told to act more masculine, and use the men’s rest room, “separate her home life from her work life.” Retailer Sax, explains Bradley Arant Boult Cummings attorney Virginia Broughton Reeves, initially argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act did not address transgender status but then changed its rationale, maintaining instead that the employee was fired because of a customer complaint about offensive language. The author notes that transgender and sexual identity issues are now being regarded as subject to Title VII regulation by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs as well as the EEOC. “Considering the trend in federal law, it might be a good time to re-examine your company’s anti-discrimination policies,” she writes, “to ensure that there are procedures to address transgender employees’ needs.”
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