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

On March 7, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a ruling in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes concluding that “[d]iscrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964].” The court additionally found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) “provides the Funeral Home with no relief because continuing to employ Stephens would not, as a matter of law, substantially burden Rost’s religious exercise, and even if it did, the EEOC has shown that enforcing Title VII here is the least restrictive means of furthering its compelling interest in combating and eradicating sex discrimination.” The plaintiff, Aimee Stephens, is “a transgender woman who worked as a funeral director” who was fired after revealing “that she had a gender identity disorder and planned to transition.”

The Second Circuit recently employed similar logic in finding that Title VII bars discrimination based on sexual orientation, holding “that sexual orientation is a function of sex and, by extension, sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination.” The Seventh Circuit has also found “that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.”

Read the decision in full here: EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes

EEOC v. R.G. & H.R. Harris Funeral Homes — Gender Identity Watch