(Washington, D.C.) – Today the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider three cases that will determine employment protections for LGBTQ people. Among the cases is R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which centers on the fact that Aimee Stephens was fired from her job at a funeral home simply because she is transgender. The EEOC and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the funeral home had discriminated against Aimee on the basis of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By weighing in on this case, the Supreme Court will decide whether Aimee and the millions of transgender people living in the U.S. are protected under Title VII.
Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center (TLC), the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures, issued the following statement:
Whatever decision the Supreme Court makes could impact other protections in housing, education, and healthcare for LGBTQ people. Transgender and gender nonconforming people experience high rates of discrimination and violence in the workplace. This leads to higher rates of poverty, poorer health outcomes, and increased likelihood of experiencing violence in other areas of their lives.
Fortunately, employment protections for LGBTQ people have decades of well-established precedent found in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins and in TLC’s 2012 case on behalf of Mia Macy, which established that employers cannot refuse to hire transgender people just because of who we are. This precedent has since been reinforced in case after case.
TLC will be watching the Supreme Court activity closely and hopes that they will once again rule in favor of equal protection for transgender communities. While we know that our liberation won’t be decided by a court case, we are hopeful that there is only one clear decision that the Supreme Court can make.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. transgenderlawcenter.org