John M. Becker

Saks Reverses Position on Title VII & Trans Protections

Filed By John M. Becker | January 26, 2015 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: anti-trans discrimination, Saks Fifth Avenue, Title VII, workplace protections

saks-fifth-avenue-logo.jpgThis morning, under heavy pressure from LGBT civil rights advocates and groups like the Human Rights Campaign, luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue reversed its position in federal court on whether Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination covers people who are transgender.

BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner reports:

In a filing in federal court on Monday morning, the company withdrew a Dec. 29, 2014 court filing in which it asserted that transgender workers are not covered by the sex discrimination ban in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That position runs counter to most recent court decisions, rulings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Obama administration.

The filing in the case brought by a former employee, Leyth Jamal, came shortly before the Justice Department filed its own brief in the case, asserting the "strong interest" of the U.S. government in the case.

Geidner notes that the Justice Department's filing is the first ever where the federal government has asserted its position that Title VII covers gender identity.

But while Saks may have backed down on its claims to the contrary, the company isn't backing down from its fight against Jamal's discrimination suit -- it just says it will now do so "on the merits" (instead, presumably, of trying to gut workplace protections for transgender workers).

Click here for Geidner's full report, including links to the filings from Saks and the DOJ.

Image via Twitter.

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