Minnesota Company Settles Transgender Discrimination Suit for $115K

January 26, 2016

Deluxe Financial Services Corp. (Deluxe), a Shoreview, Minn.-based check-printing and financial services corporation, has agreed to pay $115,000 as part of the settlement of a sex discrimination and harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced.

According to EEOC’s complaint, Britney Austin was assigned the male sex at birth and presented as male when hired by the company. Ms. Austin performed her duties satisfactorily in the com­pany’s Phoenix offices throughout a lengthy tenure. However, after she informed her supervisor that she was transgender and began to present as a woman at work, Deluxe refused to let her use the women’s restroom.

According to the suit, supervisors and coworkers subjected Austin to a hostile work environment, including hurtful epithets and intentionally using the wrong gender pro­nouns to refer to her.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, including that based on transgender status and gender stereotyping. This includes subjecting an employee to different terms and conditions or a hostile work environment because of sex.

A suit filed by EEOC, EEOC v. Deluxe Financial Services, Inc., sought both monetary and injunctive relief. Britney Austin intervened in the lawsuit and asserted additional claims.

In addition to requiring that Deluxe pay monetary damages to Austin, a three-year consent decree provides that Deluxe will issue a letter of apology to Austin and a letter of reference for future employers.

The consent decree also provides that, as of Jan. 1, 2016, Deluxe’s national health benefits plan will not include any partial or categorical exclusion for otherwise medically necessary care based on transgender status.

Under the decree, Deluxe will revise its equal employment opportunity policies to include a strong and clear commitment to preventing unlawful sex discrimination and harassment, including discrimination and harassment based on transgender status. It will also provide additional annual training for all employees that unlawful sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex-stereotyping, gender-identity, and transgender status.

Deluxe will provide annual reports to EEOC regarding its implementation of these and other terms of the consent decree.

Source: EEOC

Latest Comments

  • January 28, 2016 at 12:39 pm
    Dennis Byrne says:
    Your niece's high school got lucky. The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights forced Palatine High School District 211 (under threat of losing $6 million in federal fu... read more
  • January 27, 2016 at 3:51 pm
    MadDog says:
    I consider myself an open-minded person. We had a situation here it the St. Louis area at a high school. The student, born as a male, was transgender, but still had a penis.... read more
  • January 27, 2016 at 10:26 am
    UW Supreme says:
    I never said they weren't important. They are very important. ALL PEOPLE'S CIVIL RIGHTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT. Ohio Agent below makes my point exactly. The civil and privacy righ... read more
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