According to HR.BLR.com, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has received the approval of a trial court to proceed with the first state lawsuit alleging transgender discrimination based on restroom and locker room restrictions.
The news outlet reported that Nick Lozano, a transgender female to male, received an employment offer from American Pacific Corporation (AMPAC). After starting the position, he reportedly told the human resources department that he was going through gender transition.
After his admission, AMPAC reportedly required Lozano to use the female locker room and restroom facilities until his transition to male was “complete” after sex reassignment surgery.
The DFEH filed a lawsuit based on sex, gender, gender identity and gender expression under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). AMPAC has asked that the lawsuit be dismissed before going to trial, arguing that laws do not prohibit restroom and locker room use based on biological gender.
This lawsuit will be landmark, as there are no published California cases addressing a similar scenario.
The trial court reportedly concluded that the Lozano’s allegations supported his claims of employment discrimination. Additionally, it dismissed the AMPAC’s argument that if a male employee claimed a female gender identity, that an employer would have to permit him to shower, disrobe and perform bodily functions with female coworkers.
The case can now go to trial, although AMPAC is expected to appeal the trial court’s ruling, delaying the process.
I Have Faced Discrimination at Work Because I am Transgender. Can I File a Lawsuit?
It should be noted that state laws prohibit discrimination against transsexuals, transvestites and “persons with traits not stereotypically associated with their gender.”
Employers should come up with practical solutions that address the privacy and civil rights of both transgender and non-transgender employees when it comes to restroom facility use.
If you believe that you have been subjected to gender identity discrimination, you can secure damages through the state or federal laws that are aimed at protecting you. Speak to our employment lawyers today.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys