EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes (USA)

Amiee StephensA federal district court in Michigan declined to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a funeral home that allegedly fired a transgender woman, Amiee Stephens. The court noted that transgender status is not a protected class under Title VII. However, the EEOC’s complaint asserted that the Funeral Home fired Stephens “because Stephens did not conform to the [Funeral Home’s] sex- or gender-based preferences, expectations, or stereotypes.” Binding Sixth Circuit precedent establishes that any person without regard to labels such as transgender can assert a sex-stereotyping gender discrimination claim under Title VII, under a Price Waterhouse theory, if that person’s failure to conform to sex stereotypes was the driving force behind the termination. The court therefore concluded that the EEOC’s complaint states a claim as to Stephens’s termination.

Eeoc v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes