What Is A Protected Class Under Title VII?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Justice Department, and many courts across the country have stated that it’s illegal to discriminate against employees for being transgender. In fact, just recently Attorney General Eric Holder announced that its DOJ policy that transgender people are protected under Title VII.

Many times, gender discrimination lawsuits are filed pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII bans employment discrimination based on race, religion or sex. Your race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, or disability are considered “protected categories,” which means that your company cannot take any form of adverse or negative action against you because you are a member of one of these protected categories.

An adverse action is a very broad term, encompassing just about anything your employer may do that affects your employment in a negative way. If you have questions about employment discrimination or believe that you may have suffered any form of discrimination, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced Georgia employment attorney to determine your next steps.

Recently, a high profile case involving a former employee at Saks focused on the issue of whether it was illegal for the clothing store to discriminate against a transgender woman. According to the complaint, the woman was instructed to “separate her home life from her work life” by behaving in a more masculine way. Further, she alleges that she was terminated as the result of speaking up about a hostile work environment.
Saks claimed that because “transgender” is not a protected class, that the woman could not maintain an employment discrimination case pursuant to Title VII.

How this case is decided could greatly impact gender discrimination cases across the country.

For more information, or if you believe you have suffered any form of employment discrimination, please contact the experienced Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at the Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate, confidential case evaluation.