What To Do If You Think You Were Fired For Being Transgender

If you believe you were fired for being transgender, you may be able to pursue a claim or a lawsuit against your employer. If your employer has no legitimate reason to terminate you, but fires you after learning that you are transgender and you may have reason to believe that was the only reason you were fired, you may have grounds to take legal action.

There have been situations where people have been fired for being transgender. As an example, a woman had been a funeral director in Michigan for over six years. While she loved her job, she thought it was time to reveal who she really was.

She spoke with her therapist then prepared a letter to give her supervisor in 2013. She said her boss read the letter, put it in his pocket and then turned and walked away. Two weeks later the funeral director was fired.

The woman then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which in turned, filed a lawsuit against the funeral home claiming that the firing of the funeral director because she was transgender was unlawful sex discrimination based on her employer’s expectations. The boss said that he fired the funeral director because he “was no longer going to represent himself as a man” and intended to dress as a woman, according to court documents.

The funeral home had a dress code requiring men to wear pant suits and women to wear skirt suits. The boss believed that allowing the transgender funeral director to dress like female funeral directors would make him complicit in supporting the belief that sex is a changeable social construct instead of a God-given gift.

The Sixth Circuit Court ruled in favor of the funeral director who was fired, saying that the funeral home had unlawfully discriminated against her on the basis of her sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The funeral home has appealed the decision and the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case later in 2019.

What Should You Do?

If you believe you were fired for being transgender, then you may be protected by law. There are many states, cities, and counties with ordinances or laws that prohibit discrimination based on the individual’s gender identity and expression.

Additionally, there are many other states that interpret their existing non-discrimination laws to also protect transgender people. You should research the laws in your city and state, so you will know what laws have been violated by your employer’s behavior.

Be sure to keep all supporting evidence and documentation, as you will want to be able to prove that you were discriminated against for being transgender. Even if there are laws in your favor, you will need to be able to provide supporting documentation to prove that you were fired for being transgender, and, that if you had not been open about being transgender then your employer wouldn’t have taken the negative action that he or she did against you.

There are laws in many states that specifically protect people who are transgender because they are worded to help those who are discriminated against for sexual identity or sexual orientation. If your state doesn’t have a specific law then you are protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in most situations. You will need to talk with an attorney about your situation.

Consult With an Employment Lawyer

If you believe you were fired for being transgender, you should consult with an employment lawyer who handles such cases in your state. With the help of an /wrongful-termination/hire-an-attorney/wrongful-termination/hire-an-attorney you are much more likely to recover compensation for your damages.

Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page so an attorney that is licensed to take cases in your area can review the details of your case and determine the best way to proceed. Your lawyer may be able to file a complaint with the EEOC on your behalf and can also help file any necessary lawsuits or legal action to help you recover your damages. Time is limited, so act today!


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