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Army woman wins gender identity discrimination case

California residents may be interested to learn that, on April 1, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that a transgender woman was protected against gender-based harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The woman filed a lawsuit against the Army after she was subjected to embarrassment and ridicule due to gender identity.

According to the complaint, the woman, who was born a man, decided to change her name and sex in 2010. During her transition, she began to present herself as a woman while at work. She stated that her superior officer refused to allow her to use the woman's restroom. Her team leader also reportedly refused to call her by her female name and discussed her transition with those who had no knowledge of her gender identity. She ultimately filed the lawsuit in March 2012.

The Army reportedly has 30 days as of the ruling to request that the EEOC to reconsider their decision; however, a spokesperson for the Army stated that the service accepted the decision and intends to comply. Once the period for contesting the decision has passed, the Army must pay compensatory damages, have their employees attend Equal Employment Opportunity training and allow the woman full access to the appropriate bathroom.

Under President Obama's 2014 executive order, gay or transgender individuals who are employed with the federal government may not be discriminated against. If an employee is facing workplace discrimination that affects their job performance and livelihood, they may be eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer. An employment attorney may help document that harassment and seek compensation for lost income, lost pay raises and lost promotions that resulted from the discrimination.

Source: Military, "Transgender Woman Wins Discrimination Case Against Army", 04/10/2015

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