The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently settled a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Jonathan (De’Ashia) Wolfe, a man who identifies as a transgender woman, against Bojangles Restaurants, a corporation operating a chain of fast-food restaurants.
The lawsuit alleged Bojangles violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when “subjected a transgender employee to a hostile work environment because of gender identity” and subsequently “fired the employee in retaliation for reporting the sexual harassment.” Wolfe claims to have been “repeatedly subjected to offensive comments about her gender identity and appearance” and that managers demanded Wolfe “behave and groom in ways that are stereotypically male since Wolfe was born male.”
According to the settlement agreement, Bojangles agreed to pay Wolfe $15,000 and provide annual live-presenter training on Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination “to all specified area directors, unit directors, assistant unit directors, and shift managers” and “to report to the EEOC any complaints of harassment based on gender identity or gender expression at specified restaurants.”
Bojangles’ To Pay $15,000 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit
Transgender Bojangles’ worker claimed bosses harassed her. Now the company must pay.
On June 9, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed a lawsuit against Apple Metro Inc., “which operates several dozen Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill restaurants in the New York City area.” The lawsuit alleges Apple Metro “violated federal civil rights law by firing a woman for complaining about sex harassment” from one of their restaurants.
“According to the EEOC’s complaint, Apple Metro staff made numerous crude and derogatory references to the employee’s transgender status, repeatedly and intentionally referred to her with a male name and male pronouns, and made offensive comments about her genitalia. After the employee complained to management about the harassment on several occasions, the company fired her.”
EEOC Files Gender Identity Lawsuit In SDNY — Huffington Post
EEOC Sues Apple Metro Restaurant Chain for Sex Discrimination & Retaliation — EEOC
In a decision released April 4, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling concluding “that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.”
The ruling states, “Viewed through the lens of the gender non-conformity line of cases, (Kimberly) Hively represents the ultimate case of failure to conform to the female stereotype (at least as understood in a place such as modern America, which views heterosexuality as the norm and other forms of sexuality as exceptional): she is not heterosexual.” Continue reading
Arizona District Court Judge David G Campbell has denied, in part, Arizona attorneys’ motion to dismiss in Doe v. Arizona. The Plaintiff, a woman who identifies as a transgender male known for the purposes of this lawsuit as John Doe, is a corrections officer employed by the state. Doe alleges the state of Arizona “violated his rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against him on the basis of his gender identity and retaliating against him based on his filing of a charge of discrimination…” and is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and an unspecified monetary amount in damages. The Court denied the Defendant’s motion to dismiss Doe’s claims of gender discrimination, but granted the motion to dismiss claims of retaliation.
Doe v. Arizona
Judge Carl J Barbier has denied a motion to alter, amend, or reconsider order staying Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions’ (“EEOC”) claims in Broussard v First Tower Loans. Tristan Broussard, a woman who identifies as a transgender man, asserts that First Tower Loans Vice President David Morgan “gave Broussard a copy of the company’s dress code for female employees and informed Broussard that the company would require him to dress as female.” Broussard was also allegedly presented with and asked to sign a written statement expressing that “Broussard’s ‘preference to act and dress as male’” was not in compliance with the company’s personnel policies. After refusing to sign the statement, Broussard’s employment was terminated. The Court denied EEOC’s motion, and further ordered a modification of the discretionary stay of EEOC’s claims as follows: “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s claims are stayed pending completion of the arbitration between Tristan Broussard and First Tower Loan, LLC within six months from the date of this order, unless good cause be shown for an extension. The parties shall advise the Court in writing upon completion of the arbitration.”
Broussard v. First Tower Loan, LLC,
Connecticut District Court Judge Stefan R Underhill has issued a decision to deny the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment in Fabian v Hospital of Central Connecticut (“HCC”). David Fabian is a man who identifies as a woman known as Deborah Fabian. According to Fabian, “she was very nearly hired by the HCC as an on-call orthopedic surgeon for it’s Emergency Department.” After disclosing plans to begin “presenting as female” and use the name Deborah, Fabian “learned that she would not be hired, and she alleges that she would have been except for her disclosure of her identity as a transgender woman.” HCC filed a motion for summary judgment, on the grounds that they had “legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons not to hire Fabian” and that even if they had hired Fabian “it would not have been her ‘employer’ under Title VII” due to Fabian’s status as an independent contractor with a third party, and finally, that “transgender is not a protected status under Title VII.” Following a very informative and interesting discussion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as it applies to sex and gender identity, the judge denied that motion, concluding that “Employment discrimination on the basis of transgender identity is employment discrimination “because of sex” and constitutes a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,” and also, “Whether the Hospital discriminated against Deborah Fabian on the basis of her gender identity is a question for a jury.”
Fabian v. Hosp. of Cent. Conn
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed its first two sex discrimination cases based on sexual orientation. The federal agency’s Philadelphia District Office filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Scott Medical Health Center, and, in a separate suit, in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, against Pallet Companies, dba IFCO Systems NA. The lawsuits come years after the EEOC has taken action to ban discrimination based on gender identity through a litigation strategy. Continue reading