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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.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Knoxville, TN Gender Identity complaint upheld

Knoxville Police Department's internal investigation branch and Civil Service Board officials found two high-ranking Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) employees guilty of discrimination based on gender identity/expression.

Firefighter Jamie Faucon, who is transgender, filed a grievance asserting that her superiors altered and reduced the scope of her duties and moved her office to a location making it difficult to fulfill her responsibilities, as part of a general climate of discrimination. Faucon also alleged that they made derogatory statements indicating their displeasure with having a transgender firefighter serve on KPD.

Faucon received a poor rating in her last job performance evaluation. With prompting from the Civil Service Board, that evaluation was pulled and rewritten to reflect a more accurate description of Faucon's recent work history. While the Civil Service Board has no power to punish the supervisors involved, they did recommend that one of them receive diversity training within the next 90 days. The other had previously undergone diversity training.

One question I have is about Knoxville's legal protection of gender identity. I could find none in HRC's database. It would be interesting to find out on what legal grounds the claim was based.

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