Thursday, September 19, 2013

ACLU Files Complaint in Bathroom Bias Case

Here is an update on the transgender bathroom case in Florida that we blogged about last month.   The ACLU has recently filed a complaint with the Department of Education challenging the Pinellas Tehnical Education Center's decision to exclude a transgender woman student from the women's bathroom.  This complaint came on the heels of a demand letter sent to the Center, which the Center has apparently ignored.  The complaint succintly summarizes why the discrimination against their client constitutes sex discrimination under Title IX:
Requiring Alex to use separate restrooms than those used by other students constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title IX. First, it is per se sex discrimination because the differential treatment is based on her gender identity. Macy v. Holder, 2012 WL 1435995, at *6 (E.E.O.C. Apr. 20, 2012) (“Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination proscribes gender discrimination, and not just discrimination on the basis of biological sex . . . .”). It is further per se sex discrimination because the treatment is based on her gender transition. See Schroer v. Billington, 577 F. Supp. 2d 293, 308 (D.D.C..2008) (discrimination based on plaintiff’s plan to undergo transition “was literally discrimination ‘because of . . . sex’” under Title VII) (alterations in original). Finally, this treatment is unlawful sex stereotyping because Alex is being treated differently based on her failure to conform to gender stereotypes—PTEC does not consider her sufficiently feminine to use the women’s restrooms. See Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312, 1317 (11th Cir. 2011) (“[D]iscrimination against a transgender individual because of her gender-nonconformity is sex discrimination.”).