A company has been ordered to pay out a huge settlement and issue a personal apology to a transgender employee who experienced sexist discrimination.
Britney Austin, a former worker at check-printing company Deluxe Financial Services, has been awarded $115,000 (£81,300) in a court case against management at her previous workplace. Austin alleged that she was victim to anti-transgender slurs from colleagues, and that she had been banned from using the female bathrooms.
In addition, Austin claimed that her employers refused to allow her to change her name on company records from male to female, and that Deluxe denied her medically necessary care under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Austin was backed in federal court by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency charged with investigating complaints of employment discrimination. In their court filings, the EEOC and Austin argued Deluxe Financial Services, Inc. illegally discriminated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“We are extremely grateful to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for taking on this important case on behalf of our client and working side by side with us to achieve a settlement that marks yet another Title VII victory for transgender employees,” explained Jillian T Weiss, the Attorney who represented Austin told Buzzfeed.
Deluxe denied any wrongdoing, saying that they did not treat Austin unfairly. However, they did agree to improve the working conditions for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer) employees in the future.
In an apology to Austin, Deluxe Financial Services senior vice president of human resources Julie Loosbrock writes, “We want to ensure you that we have made changes to our internal policies, including how we treat transgender employees’ requests to change biographical information or use a restroom commensurate with their gender identity.”