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EEOC Sues Denver Company for Transgender Discrimination

If the President can discriminate against military personnel who are transgender, why not a tire company?

Because it's against the law, says the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a new lawsuit. The EEOC has sued a Denver tire company for rescinding a job offer to a transgender man.

It might shock the conscience that an employer could be so brash, but these are confusing times for companies and their general counsel.

LGBT Discrimination

According to reports, Egan Joseph Woodward interviewed for a job at A&E Tire, Inc. Manager Derrick Haight offered him a job, introduced him to other employees and told him to complete certain forms.

As Haight was reviewing one form, he noticed Woodward had checked a box indicating he was born a female. He called to clarify, and Woodword confirmed it was correct.

"Oh, that's all I need," Haight allegedly said, then hung up and hired someone else.

The EEOC sued for transgender discrimination, seeking back pay, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages. Haight, contacted by the Denver Post, declined to comment about the case.

Transgender Law and Policy

The agency has fought against transgender discrimination for years. In 2011 appeal, the agency upheld a case against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for turning down a job applicant because she was transitioning from male to female.

Today, the EEOC says on its website that unlawful sex discrimination includes:

  • Failing to hire an applicant because she is a transgender woman
  • Firing an employee because he is planning or has made a gender transition
  • Discriminating against or harassing an employee because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity

Meanwhile, President Trump stands by his controversial transgender military ban. His administration has moved to dismiss the first of four lawsuits that have been filed in opposition to the ban.

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