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Bloomberg Law: Federal Judge topples EEOC's LGBT bathroom and pronoun guidance

FROM BLOOMBERG LAW (Reprinted with permission)


October 3, 2022 - A federal judge in Texas ruled that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance allowing exceptions for LGBT employees from workplace policies on bathrooms, dress codes, and locker rooms was unlawful.


The EEOC’s June 2021 guidance improperly interpreted the US Supreme Court landmark 2020 ruling that federal anti-bias law prohibits job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to an Oct. 1 ruling from Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Donald Trump appointee on the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Texas sued the agency to challenge the guidance.

The decision handed the EEOC a loss in its broader courtroom battle over the scope of the high court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision extending protections in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to LGBT workers. According to Kacsmaryk, the high court merely established that an employer can’t discriminate against a worker for their sexuality or gender identity but doesn’t protect an employee’s “correlated conduct.”


The agency also is defending its post-Bostock guidance against a lawsuit from a coalition of Republican-led states. A Trump-appointed judge in Tennessee in July temporarily blocked the guidance from being enforced in the states suing the agency.


A Texas federal judge appointed by George W. Bush issued a ruling last fall that cleared a path for for-profit businesses to shield themselves from LGBT discrimination claims using religious-based exceptions to Title VII.

The case is State of Texas v EEOC , N.D. Tex., No. 21-00194, ruling 10/1/22.


To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Iafolla in Washington at riafolla@bloomberglaw.com; J. Edward Moreno in Washington at jmorenodelangel@bloombergindustry.com


To contact the editor responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com


Reproduced with permission. Published Oct. 3, 2022. Copyright 2022 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bloombergindustry.com

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