Amber Yust, a transgender woman, settled her privacy and civil rights lawsuit with the San Francisco Department of Motor Vehicles on August 15, 2011, with the help of her attorneys Chris Dolan and the Transgender Law Center. In October 2010, a DMV employee, who had a known history of denying equal service to transgender customers, retained Yust’s personal and contact information and proceeded to send her materials condemning her transgender status and calling for “homosexuals” (sic) to be “put to death.”
Yust filed a lawsuit in December 2010 against the DMV, alleging violating of her rights under the California Information Practices Act and Unruh Civil Rights Act. Yust brought similar claims against the DMV employee, who voluntarily resigned from his position with the DMV shortly after the incident. The matter resolved with the State of California for $40,000, and with the former DMV employee for $15,000. As a part of the settlement, the DMV agreed to work with the Transgender Law Center in an effort to incorporate transgender sensitivity into its ongoing employee training.
Dolan said, “this suit affirms the right of all people to equal access to government services, regardless of their orientation or decision to make a transition to live life as their full and complete self. In the big picture, this suit promotes the privacy rights of all Californians by ensuring that confidential information retained by our government stays confidential.”