TLDEF Applauds EEOC Ruling Affirming Right to Bathroom Access For Transgender People

Posted by Melanie Nathan, April 09, 2015.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) strongly commends a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which found that the Army discriminated against a transgender civilian employee when it required her to use a single-user restroom at work and reprimanded her for using the women’s restroom when the single-user restroom was unavailable. The EEOC concluded that Tamara Lusardi, a Software Quality Assurance Specialist in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center in Huntsville, Alabama, “was subjected to disparate treatment on the basis of sex” in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.25.05 AMThe EEOC also found that Lusardi’s supervisors subjected her to a hostile work environment on the basis of sex by continually referring to her with male pronouns as a way to “humiliate and ridicule” her. The commission called the behavior “offensive and demeaning.”

Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman

“We applaud this decision by the EEOC and congratulate Ms. Lusardi and her lawyers at the Transgender Law Center on her victory. No one should be subjected to harassment and discrimination on the job simply for being themselves. Everyone deserves the same opportunity to earn a living and provide for their families in a workplace free of discrimination. The EEOC has made it clear that barring transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with who they are and harassing them by using improper pronouns constitutes sex discrimination. This latest victory builds upon prior EEOC rulings and underscores the agency’s position that transgender people are fully protected by Title VII in the workplace.”

The case is Lusardi v. McHugh, EEOC Appeal No. 0120133395, dated April 1, 2015.

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