$50,000 for Discrimination Against Transgender Employee, Training Ordered

 
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
 
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In a conciliation agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a Rapid City, S.D., supermarket owner has agreed to pay $50,000 to a former employee who was fired for being transgender.


An investigation by the EEOC's Minneapolis Area Office revealed that the owner of Don's Valley Market terminated the well-performing employee, who had recently been promoted, after she indicated her intent to present as a woman. Following the investigation of the discrimination charge filed by the former employee, the EEOC determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


In addition to the EEOC's recent decision on sex discrimination, Macy v. Department of Justice, EEOC Appeal No. 0120120821 (April 20, 2012), there has been a steady stream of district court decisions finding that claims of discrimination based on transgender status, also referred to as gender identity, are cognizable under Title VII's sex discrimination prohibition.


In addition to paying $50,000, the conciliation agreement requires Don's Valley Market to obtain professional anti-discrimination training annually for all of its employees; implement and distribute an anti-discrimination policy to all employees; report all future complaints of discrimination to the EEOC; and provide the former employee with a letter of apology and a neutral letter of reference.
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