Trans woman wins sex discrimination lawsuit in Phoenix

Posted on 22 Jan 2016 at 4:01pm

US-EEOC-Seal_380w_crop380wA transgender woman in Phoenix has won a sex discrimination lawsuit against her employer, Deluxe Financial Services Corp., the largest check printer in the U.S.

The company will pay $115,000 in damages, will issue a letter of apology and a reference letter to future employers. As of this year, the company’s health insurance plan “will not include any partial or categorical exclusion for otherwise medically necessary care based on transgender status,” according to a press release from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit against the company.

The company will also include a clear policy on sex discrimination to prevent discrimination and harassment based on transgender status. All employees will receive annual training stressing that unlawful sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex-stereotyping, gender identity and transgender status.

Deluxe will provide annual reports to the EEOC regarding implementation of these terms.

Britney Austin presented as male when hired by the company. Through her lengthy employment, she performed her duties satisfactorily, according to the suit. After she told her supervisor that she was transgender and presenting as a woman at work, the company refused to let her use the women’s restroom. She was intentionally referred to by the wrong pronoun and called “hurtful epithets,” the lawsuit claims.

This is the third lawsuit filed by EEOC charging sex discrimination based on transgender status. A Florida eye clinic paid $150,000 to settle a suit last year. A suit against a Detroit area funeral home is still pending.

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