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New York employers may be impacted by court ruling

A federal district court has ruled that a Nevada school district violated the civil rights of a transgender man by not allowing him to use a male restroom. The district had required him to use unisex bathrooms, which were not always available. While some courts had ruled this to be an acceptable compromise, an attorney who wrote an amicus brief for the plaintiff said that there is no restroom exception in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In her Oct. 4 ruling, the judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada found that the district had engaged in sex discrimination. The ruling found that Title VII was meant to remove any type of sex stereotyping, and employers were directed to forget about gender when making any decision that could be discriminatory against an employee. The district had claimed that it barred the man from using a male restroom because he was biologically female.

That in itself was discriminatory under the law according to the court. The district also argued that it was making its decision based on the employee's genitalia instead of the fact that the employee was transgender. However, the court found that there was no essentially no difference between the two, and it found that he was ultimately treated differently than any other man would have because he was transgender.

Much of the transgender discrimination lawsuits to date have not been based upon workplace discrimination but instead brought on behalf of students who are alleging sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Regardless of its genesis, discrimination can be pernicious, and victims may want to have legal assistance in pursuing their remedies.

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