How will the Trump administration handle discrimination cases involving transgender employees? The EEOC’s pursuit of a sex discrimination claim on behalf of Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who was terminated by a Michigan funeral home for expressing her intention to dress in conformance with her gender identity, will be an early indicator.
In a brief filed with the Sixth Circuit on January 26, 2017, Stephens argues that the interests of transgender individuals will not be adequately represented under the new administration. Under the Obama administration, the EEOC sued Stephens’ former employer, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, for sex discrimination … Continue Reading
In a notable recent court decision highlighting transgender issues and employer sponsored benefit plans, on January 13, 2017, in Baker v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5665, 2017 WL 131658 (N.D. Tex.), Aetna Life Insurance Co. (“Aetna”) defeated a claim by a transgender employee of L-3 Communications Integrated Systems LP (“L-3”) who alleged that Aetna’s denial of her disability benefits constituted discrimination based on her gender identity. The plaintiff, Charlize Marie Baker (“Baker”), is a participant in L-3’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) covered group health plan and short term disability benefits plan (“STD Plan”). … Continue Reading
Kyler Prescott was a 14 year old transgender boy who was receiving puberty-delaying medication to help him transition. Shortly before Kyler’s death he had “suicidal ideation” and was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego in April 2015. The hospital has a Gender Management Clinic to provide services to children with gender dysphoria and related issues. A lawsuit under the ACA’s non-discrimination provision, § 1557, alleges that after admission, despite assurances that he would be referred to with masculine pronouns, hospital employees referred to Kyler as a girl. The suit claims that the hospital’s actions discriminated against Prescott … Continue Reading