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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

USA Today Op-Ed: Federal Law Dooms Transgender Bathroom Bans

Jillian Weiss weighed in on the recent spate of laws imposing transgender bathroom bans in an op-ed in USA Today:

April 13, 2016: North Carolina recently became the first U.S. state to mandate discrimination against transgender people by statute, banning them from using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity in government buildings and schools. The new law also guts protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Charlotte and nine other municipalities.
This move and similar ones in other states are terrible signals of intolerance, but beyond that they make absolutely no sense. North Carolina started feeling an economic backlash so quickly that Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order Tuesday in an attempt to soften the message sent by the law, though the order has little impact on the law itself.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Case out of Connecticut federal court, holding that Title VII sex discrimination includes trans employees and denying summary judgment. (The Second Circuit surprisingly has no clear precedent on this yet.)


Friday, March 25, 2016

The no good, very bad week for LGBT Americans

Jillian Weiss, a transgender advocate and law professor at Ramapo College, said “reassessment is always a useful exercise” in the wake of losses like those in Kansas and North Carolina.
“There is also no question that efforts are being taken to address the problem in these states,” Weiss said. “However, the combination of victory blindness and failure to utilize and publicize the federal civil rights laws that already protect us have created fertile soil for the states’ rights backlash that we are now seeing.”
Weiss made the case LGBT advocates should immediately seek recourse in the federal court system, which has produced a growing number of victories in recent years in favor of LGBT rights.
“We ought to be in the federal courts of Kansas and North Carolina right now with top notch legal firms to fight these laws,” Weiss said. “Instead, we seem to be milling about in confusion. The truth is that the federal government, including the federal court system, is on our side right now. I myself have won a number of victories in very conservative courts on behalf of trans people in the last year. This should be known to all of our rights orgs. Why are we not taking advantage of this now?”
- See more at: http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/03/25/the-no-good-very-bad-week-for-lgbt-people/#sthash.QvRnqPBD.dpuf

From The Washington Blade:

...But after those small victories, things quickly changed. On Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law SB 175, a religious freedom bill that would allow religious organizations at public universities to deny membership to LGBT students. Brownback became the first governor in the nation to sign this year a measure enabling anti-LGBT discrimination.

An even bigger disappointment came the next day when the North Carolina Legislature, in retaliation over a recently approved pro-LGBT ordinance in Charlotte, rushed through in a special session House Bill 2 to undo all pro-LGBT protections in the state and prohibit transgender people from using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory wasted no time in signing the measure, which has been dubbed the worst anti-LGBT law in the nation....

Jillian Weiss, a transgender advocate and law professor at Ramapo College, said “reassessment is always a useful exercise” in the wake of losses like those in Kansas and North Carolina.

Monday, January 25, 2016

11th Circuit Allows Trans Discrimination Case to Move Forward

On January 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled, in Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC, that the employment discrimination case of Jennifer Chavez, can move forward. The case had been dismissed by the District Court because that Court felt there was insufficient evidence of discrimination. The Eleventh Circuit ruling reverses the District Court opinion in part, holding that there was sufficient evidence of discrimination for the case to be heard by a jury. Ms. Chavez was represented by Jillian Weiss and Ezra Young of the Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss, P.C. The opinion may be read here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Employer To Pay Transgender Woman $115,000 In Job Discrimination Settlement

From Buzzfeed:
Britney Austin had alleged her employer used slurs, denied her access to the women’s restroom, and refused to change her name on company records.

A national check-printing company will pay a transgender woman $115,000, plus issue her a personal apology and change its policies for transgender employees, under a settlement agreement approved by a federal judge in Minnesota on Wednesday. Ms. Austin was represented by Jillian Weiss and Ezra Young of the Law Office of Jillian T. Weiss, PC.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Court nixes intrusive questions of trans employee

A federal court, in the case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Funeral Homes, Inc., held last week that it would be harassing and oppressive to require disclosure of genitalia, transition process and transition medical records. The court's opinion said the employer failed to show its relevance to the sex stereotyping claim brought by the EEOC on the employee’s behalf.  Click here for the opinion.

The court found that, while the requests may have been proper if her transgender and transitioning claims remained live, her claim was limited to sex stereotyping. It was irrelevant whether the gender-stereotyping resulted from the fact that the employee was actually "transgender." The issue, however, was whether the employer terminated her because she exhibited characteristics or behaviors that her supervisors perceived to be inconsistent with a male gender. The requests concerning her sexual anatomy, her familial background and relationships, and medical or psychological records related to the progress of her gender transition were all irrelevant.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

8th Circuit: Delay in workplace discipline supports pretext inference

Brown v. Diversified Distrib. Sys., LLC

The Eighth Circuit reversed in part: where an employer has known its stated reason for taking adverse action against an employee for an extended period of time, but only acts after the employee engages in protected activity, the employer's earlier inaction supports an inference of pretext.