Texas sues Biden administration over guidance on transgender worker rights

Texas sues Biden administration over guidance on transgender worker rights

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
September 21, 2021

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit Monday against the Biden administration over guidance released in June seeking to protect transgender workers

Paxton’s lawsuit — which names Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chairwoman Charlotte Burrows and Attorney General Merrick Garland as defendants — describes the guidance as “unlawful,” and asks for declaratory and injunctive relief.

The technical assistance document was based on a June 2020 decision  from the Supreme Court — Bostock v. Clayton County — which said the prohibition against sex discrimination that is included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes employment discrimination against an individual based on sexual orientation or transgender status. It protects the right of transgender employees to dress in a way that is consistent with their gender identity, as well as their access to bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. It also says that using incorrect pronouns or names that are inconsistent with someone’s gender identity can be considered harassment in certain circumstances.

In the lawsuit, Paxton alleges that the EEOC violated the 1st and 11th Amendment, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act.

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“States should be able to choose protection of privacy for their employers over subjective views of gender, and this illegal guidance puts many women and children at risk,” Paxton said in a statement. “If the Biden Administration thinks they can force states to comply with their political agenda, my office will fight against their radical attempt at social change. These backdoor attempts to force businesses, including the State of Texas, to align with their beliefs is unacceptable.” 

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at [email protected]
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