Better late than never: the folks at Saks have taken back their assertion that transgender people are not protected against employee discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lyeth Jamal had filed a suit against the company claiming she was discriminated against while she was working there for being a transwoman. Previously, Saks was fighting to get the suit thrown out, claiming that transgendered people were not included under the act.
Saks has been feeling the backlash since it doubled down on the assertion and today, it’s withdrawing its filing and choosing to fight back against Jamal’s suit using other tactics. The Justice Department offered an analysis of Saks’ previous assertion, confirming its position that transpeople are protected against employment discrimination. “In its Motion, SAKS maintains that Ms. Jamal cannot prevail on a Title VII sex discrimination claim that is based on her gender identity, particularly her transgender status. Not so. Discrimination against an individual based on gender identity is discrimination because of sex.”
New York’s Attorney General has launched an investigation into Saks’ trans employment discrimination policies. We’re hoping the retailer has learned its lesson.