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Bathroom bans ruled workplace discrimination

New York residents may be interested to know that a Nevada school district was not allowed to prevent a transgender male police offer from using a men's restroom. According to an Oct. 4 ruling from a U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, the ban was sexual discrimination against the officer. The decision backed the EEOC's interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that transgender employees should use the bathroom that conforms to their chosen gender identity.

Part of the legal reasoning for the court's ruling comes from previous Supreme Court decisions. The Supreme Court has said that Title VII bans any form of stereotyping based on gender when it makes hiring or other employment decisions. The school district said that it banned the employee from using a male restroom because the employee was biologically female.

However, the district court said that this was discrimination because employers cannot make decisions based on stereotypes. Ultimately, the court ruled that the man was treated differently because of both his biological sex and because of the gender that he identifies with. In legal terms, gender refers to stereotypes that society may have about how a certain sex should dress, talk or otherwise act in public.

Workers who believe that they have been discriminated against because of their race or gender may wish to speak with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to establish that a worker was denied a promotion, reprimanded or terminated based on gender or some other protected status under the law. If a worker is found to be a victim of employment discrimination, he or she may be entitled to compensation. Compensation may include back pay and interest, benefits and punitive damages.

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