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Settlement reached in transgender discrimination case

Many residents of Indiana are taking note of an announcement made by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about a historic settlement that has been reached in a gender discrimination suit filed by a transgender woman against her employer. The woman alleged that she was fired after informing her employer of her intention to change genders.

The plantiff was working at Don's Valley Market and living publicly as a male when she decided to inform her employer of her plans to begin identifying as a female. According to the complaint, she was fired in 2010 not long after informing her employer of her planned gender change. In 2012, the plaintiff filed a formal complaint with the assistance of the organization Lamda Legal which maintained the firing was an unjust violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In addition to paying the plaintiff a settlement of $50,000, Don's Valley Market has also agreed to provide all of their employees with training each year on the topic of workplace discrimination and workplace protection. They will also prominently and publicly post a statement condemning discrimination on the job. The transgender woman's former employer will also provide her with a letter of recommendation and a formal written apology. A spokesperson from Lamda Legal praised the settlement and said that it would send a clear signal to other employers that discrimination based on gender identity is unacceptable.

Individuals who feel that they have been wrongfully terminated based on their sexuality or gender identity may need professional help to pursue compensation for their losses. Attorneys working in the area of employment law may be able to help their clients negotiate an equitable settlement to reimburse them for unfairly lost wages and benefits.

Source: Salon, "Transgender woman wins landmark settlement in job discrimination case", Katie McDonough, September 17, 2013

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