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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, March 8, 2007

Stanton plans to appeal his firing

Northpinellas: Stanton plans to appeal his firing - Excerpt:

LARGO - City Manager Steve Stanton says he plans to submit an appeal to his firing. He will request a public hearing to make his case around noon Thursday, he said.

Stanton, 48, who has been Largo's city manager for 14 years, said he plans to request a hearing about 30 days from now. He said he will need the time to put on a thorough presentation, which will take up to three hours and will feature national experts in medicine, psychology and the workplace transition process for transsexuals.

"I think this will certainly give the commission a good basis of information to make an informed decision," Stanton said. "I'm realistic enough to know its going to require an extraordinary step to stop the train going down track with a certain degree of speed and to confront some of the folks back in the commission chambers who will be talking about what Jesus what do."

If an appeal during a public hearing fails, Stanton hasn't said whether he would sue the city, but he doesn't relish the thought. "I do not feel this is a legal argument," he said. "It's not a matter of hiring an attorney to threaten to sue the city. That is not the argument I want to make."

This signals an understanding that the appeal is not primarily legal in nature. The City Commission is not a court of law, nor are they likely to understand arguments appealing to legal authority.

The issue here is educating a City Commission and a public that has no experience with gender transition. The key is giving them an understanding of gender transition. They need to hear from experts in the field that Stanton was not deceptive in failing to disclose earlier, has a well-known medical condition (gender dysphoria), the condition requires him to take certain steps in transitioning, and it will not interfere with his ability to do the job of city manager.


Carol Leigh (carol_nulambdapi@yahoo.com) said...

This is actually a question as I follow both Julie Nemecek's and Steve Stanton's situations. Am I correct that Julie can file under EEOC because it was clearly stated transitioning was the basis, while in Steve's case, the Commission has adamantly refused to acknowledge...although the newspaper concludes, that the firing was a result of transitioning? OR is Steve elibible for an EEOC filing, too?

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss said...

It is not necessary for EEOC action that the employer explicitly acknowledge that their adverse action was taken on a basis prohibited by Title VII. Most employers are savvy enough to know not to do so. Most employment discrimination cases involve situations where the employer states a legitimate reason, and the employee attempts to demonstrate that the real reason includes a prohibited basis.

On a slightly different point, there are some differences in EEOC procedure between private employees (such as Prof. Nemecek) and government workers (such as Mr. Stanton). An example is the issuance of right-to-sue letters by the EEOC, which is slightly different for government workers (29 C.F.R. § 1601.28). There is a question in my mind as to whether a municipal worker, unlike a private sector employee, must exhaust their administrative remedies before applying to the EEOC. This would require that the employee go through the available internal appeal processes before complaining to the EEOC. I will research the question.