South Dakota Transgender Woman Awarded Landmark Settlement in Employment Discrimination Case
September 18, 2013 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
This week a transgender woman in South Dakota was awarded $50,000 in a landmark settlement backed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Lambda Legal.
Though she was a well-performing employee, Cori McCreery, 29, was fired in 2010 from her job in Rapid City, South Dakota after she informed her employer that she would begin the journey of transitioning.
McCreery’s settlement is the latest development in a steady stream of cases to find discrimination based on gender identity or expression violates the protections against sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
While the protections provided by Title VII are an important step forward, it is not enough. Currently, in 29 states there is no state law protecting a person from being fired for their sexual orientation, and in 33 states for their gender identity or expression.
“We’re still a long way from it being clear to employers across the country that discrimination based on both gender identity and sexual orientation will not be tolerated,” said HRC Legal Director Brian Moulton.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would afford all Americans basic employment protection from discrimination. To learn more about ENDA and HRC’s work to pass the legislation, visit www.hrc.org/ENDA.
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