At least one in five transgender people report experiencing employment discrimination. In fact, in six studies conducted between 1996 and 2006, between 20 percent and 57 percent of transgender individuals said they were discriminated in the workplace, according to the Human Rights Campaign. For example, they reported being harassed, denied a promotion, or even being terminated. Transgender people also routinely faced difficulty securing employment if they disclosed their transgender status when applying for a job. These difficulties substantiate the view that it is very important to speak to an experienced Fort Lauderdale workplace discrimination attorney when you experience a discriminatory act or unlawful conduct.
Example of a Successfully Defending Transgender Rights
A transgender man won a sex discrimination case against a financial services company that fired him after he refused to dress and be treated as a woman, which was mandated by the company.
The transgender man was hired as a manager trainee at the company’s Lake Charles, Louisiana, office. In his very first week on the job, a senior company supervisor spoke to the transgender man and directed him to sign a document stating that his “preference” to act and dress as a man was not “in compliance” with personnel policies of the financial services company. The transgender man resigned (involuntarily) in order to avoid the embarrassment and burden of an illegal employment requirement imposed by the large corporation.
An arbitrator in this discrimination case determined that the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The arbitrator directed the company to pay the transgender man economic damages. Those damages totaled more than one year’s salary, along with money damages for emotional distress.
Transgender People Are Protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Transgender people are often treated as second class citizens. They suffer from extremely high rates of unemployment and poverty, due to widespread workplace discrimination. Employers need to understand that there are legal consequences when they fire or harass a transgender employee. Courts across the United States have recognized that Title VII protects transgender people. Furthermore, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (i.e. the primary agency responsible for interpreting and enforcing Title VII) has expressly stated that employers cannot fire or refuse to hire employees based on their transgender status.
Fort Lauderdale Employment and Labor Law Attorney
Because of the complexity of the law in transgender cases, affected employees should seek guidance from an experienced labor and employment attorney. Mark J. Berkowitz has been practicing labor and employment law for over two decades. He has assisted both private sector and public sector employees, throughout Florida. Mr. Berkowitz applies his extensive knowledge, as an experienced practitioner for employees. Contact his office today to learn more about specific services which are provided.