In 2012, Leyth Jamal, a transgender female, was fired from a Saks store in Houston. Jamal has since filed an employment discrimination suit against Saks alleging that the company discriminated against her because she was transgender. According to the suit, Jamal was harassed by co-workers, referred to with male pronouns, and forced to use the men’s bathroom. A manager also told her to look more masculine and to separate her work life and home life. When Jamal filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint for discrimination, she was fired from the store, according to the lawsuit.
In the last month, Saks asked the court to dismiss the suit by arguing that transgender discrimination was not a form of sex discrimination and therefore not protected by federal law. This argument was then criticized by many employment discrimination attorneys as it contradicts what the federal government has actually said about transgender discrimination.
TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION AND SEX DISCRIMINATION
Last December, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would view transgender discrimination as a form of gender discrimination and therefore in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In fact, the EEOC has already filed lawsuits to protect transgender workers under Title VII, and President Obama issued an executive order last July that protects transgender people who work for federal contractors.
Amid this criticism, Saks has withdrawn its argument for dismissal, but still plans to fight the suit. If you believe that you have been discriminated against at your workplace due to sex, gender, race, or any other personal characteristic, you should get in touch with employment discrimination attorneys immediately. Our employment discrimination attorneys at Bandas Law Firm will evaluate your case and tell you if you have grounds for a discrimination suit.
WHAT TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION ARE PROHIBITED?
There are different laws on the federal, state, and local levels prohibiting different forms of employment discrimination. Before filing your claim, you will want to make sure that the discrimination was expressly prohibited.
The federal government has laws protecting against discrimination by:
- National Origin
- Citizenship Status
- Genetic Information
The state of Texas also has laws that prohibit most of the same types of discrimination. The forms of discrimination that are expressly prohibited are:
- National Origin
- Genetic Information
If you believe you were discriminated against because of one of these attributes, you may want to contact employment discrimination attorneys.
FILING AN EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION SUIT IN TEXAS
After your co-workers or supervisors have discriminated against you, there are certain steps you should take before filing a lawsuit.
Discuss the Discrimination: Before suing your employer, you should speak with the person who offended or harassed you. During the suit, you will have to prove that the comments or behaviors were unwelcome and it will also help to show that the offender knew this behavior was unwelcome. Formally asking them to stop the harassment will strengthen your case.
Inform Your Company of the Discrimination: Sometimes the company can claim that it was unaware of the harassment that occurred between you and a co-worker. Making a complaint will remove the company’s ability to say it was unaware, and the company will either have to help stop the harassment or ignore it.
File with the EEOC: Under federal law, you cannot file an employment discrimination suit until you first file a charge with the EEOC. This typically applies to state discrimination laws as well. Once the EEOC has reviewed your complaint and contacted the employer, you will be able to file your lawsuit.
These lawsuits are complicated and difficult to initiate. The employment discrimination attorneys of Bandas Law Firm can help you through every step of the process and will fight to get you justice.