On October 26, U.S. District Court Judge Robin Cauthron issued an order denying a motion to for summary judgement in Tudor v. SE Oklahoma State University.
The plaintiff, Robert “Rachel” Tudor, alleges he was denied tenure at Southeastern Oklahoma State University (“the university”) due his “transgender status” in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The university moved for summary judgement, arguing “the undisputed material facts and law entitle them to judgment on each of [Tudor]’s claims.”
The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a memo stating, “Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination between men and women but does not encompass discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.”
However, Judge Cauthron denied the university’s motion, rejecting the argument that Tudor is “not subject to protection under Title VII because her [sic] status as a transgender person is not a protected class.” This ruling allows Tudor’s hostile work environment, discrimination, and retaliation claims to proceed.