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Title VII protects transgender workers from discrimination

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2015 | Workplace Discrimination |

Transgender workers in Maryland may be protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although Title VII does not expressly protect LGBT workers from discrimination, the statute protects all workers from discrimination based on gender. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly interpreted the prohibition on gender discrimination to mean that workers cannot be discriminated against for failing to conform to gender stereotypes.

Several individual plaintiffs have contributed to the expanded definition of sex discrimination under Title VII. In 1989, a Supreme Court case involved a woman who was discriminated against by her supervisors for being too ‘manly.” The Supreme Court decided in that case that the definition of sex discrimination included discrimination based on gender stereotypes. Nine years later, the Supreme Court ruled that a defendant could be guilty of sex discrimination even if they are the same sex as the plaintiff.

In a 2008 case, a District of Columbia court held that discrimination based on a person’s gender transition was sex discrimination or sex stereotyping. In 2015, a case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission led to the ruling that denying an employee the use of their chosen restroom or referring to an employee by gender pronouns inconsistent with their gender identity was sex discrimination.

A transgender person who has been discriminated against in the workplace may want to talk to an employment law attorney about filing a sex discrimination or wrongful termination complaint. Workplace sex discrimination can take place when a person applies for a job, during their employment or when they are fired or passed over for a promotion.