- Late last week, a federal judge in Detroit handed the EEOC a courtroom loss in its efforts to protect transgender rights in the workplace, according to the Associated Press.
- U.S. District Judge Sean Cox ruled that R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home didn't discriminate and dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of a transgender embalmer, Aimee Stephens, who was fired by the funeral home after telling her employer that she was transitioning from male to female and would start dressing as a woman at work, the AP reported.
- According to the AP report, Judge Cox ruled the funeral home met its burden of showing that enforcement of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars employment discrimination, "would impose a substantial burden on its ability to conduct business in accordance with its sincerely-held religious beliefs." He also concluded the business is entitled to a religious exemption.
“We are disappointed with the decision and are reviewing next steps,” EEOC spokesman Justine Lisser told the Washington Post.
The EEOC claimed Stephens had a right not to be subjected to gender stereotypes at work, but Cox said the commission hasn't challenged the funeral home's gender-specific dress code requiring female employees to wear a "skirt-suit" and men to wear a "pants-suit with a neck tie."