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Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Employment Law / EEOC Settles Lawsuit on Behalf of Transgender Employee Who Was Suffered Harassment in the Workplace

EEOC Settles Lawsuit on Behalf of Transgender Employee Who Was Suffered Harassment in the Workplace


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a bar and restaurant over claims that its employees discriminated against a transgender man in the workplace. The EEOC forced the bar to pay $25,000 to the employee and provide other relief to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the owners and staff of the restaurant verbally harassed a transgender employee by making crude and derogatory references to his transgender status. This included telling him that he was not “a real man” and asking invasive questions about his genitalia and transitioning in a mocking fashion. The EEOC further alleged that the owners and employees intentionally misgendered the employee by using female pronouns and refusing to correct the behavior of employees and customers who misgendered the employee. The employee reported the behavior to his manager, but the conduct continued. Eventually, the employee was forced to resign.

This conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits sex discrimination in the workplace. These protections were recently extended to members of the LGBT community. The EEOC filed the lawsuit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The restaurant agreed to pay the employee $25,000 in back pay and compensatory damages. The decree further provides that the restaurant institute and enforce an equal employment opportunity policy that includes a commitment to prevent future episodes of sex discrimination and harassment. To ensure compliance with the EEOC’s measures, the restaurant was required to hire an independent human resources monitor who will supervise and investigate all employee complaints.

Further, the owner, manager, and all of its employees will be required to complete training on federal anti-discrimination laws. The training will place a special emphasis on issues regarding gender identity and expression. The restaurant is also required to provide annual reports to the EEOC regarding its implementation of these measures. The EEOC will have the right to inspect the company’s business records to ensure compliance with its decree.

This is an example of a hostile work environment 

The EEOC came down hard on the restaurant. Even though the employee did not make a huge amount of money from the settlement, the EEOC will be breathing down the restaurant’s neck to ensure that future instances of sex discrimination do not occur in the workplace.

The lawsuit was an example of a hostile work environment suit. The employee claimed that he was subjected to ongoing discriminatory abuse by the owner, supervisors, employees, and customers. No one intervened on his behalf or attempted to curb the abuse. Eventually, he could no longer perform his job and decided to quit.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Sex Discrimination Attorney Today 

Florin Gray represents the interests of LGBT employees who have been discriminated against in the workplace. Call our Tampa, FL employment law attorneys today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your case right away.



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