Monday, January 18, 2016

A Hard Case To Win

When it comes to a discrimination lawsuit you have to prove first that you are a member of a protected class and second that the discrimination was the result of being a member of the protected class and it is not easy to prove them.
Court allows transgender mechanic’s bias claims to proceed
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Bill Rankin
January 15, 2016

The federal appeals court in Atlanta has allowed a transgender woman’s discrimination claims to proceed to trial against an Austell car company.

Jennifer Chavez was hired in June 2008 by Credit Nation Auto Sales as a mechanic at its garage in Cobb County. She was never disciplined before she announced her gender transition in October 2009. She was fired on Jan. 11, 2010, for “sleeping while on the clock on company time.”

In a Jan. 14 opinion, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the auto company did not use sleeping on the job as a pretext for firing Chavez because she was transgender. The court noted that Chavez admitted to sleeping on one occasion and that another employee had been fired for doing the same thing.

But the court said Chavez presented “plenty” of circumstantial evidence to support her discrimination claim and that her gender was a motivating factor in her being fired.

For example, the court noted, Chavez said the company president told her not to bring up her transgender status and not to wear a dress to and from work. The company’s vice president also told her to “tone it down” and not talk as much about her gender transition, Chavez said.
There were other thing that her employer did that establish a pattern of discrimination like not letting her use the unisex bathroom.

But the big thing that she has to overcome is sleeping on the job, other employees were fired for doing the same thing and that will make it much harder to prove discrimination. It would be nice if we were all saints and the employer came out and say they were firing you because you are trans, but in the real world things are not black and white.

She has a great lawyer Jillian Weiss and I wish her luck.

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I have been up in New Hampshire and Vermont this weekend visiting my cousins with my brother and sister-in-law. We met at The Foundry at Summit Point on Killington Rd. in Vermont, it was the first time that I was up there since the early 80s, not much has changed since then. It was the first time that I've been to Killington in ages. We met my cousin and his wife there, they came from New York and my other cousin lives in New Hampshire. Afterward I stayed over at my cousin in NH with my brother and sister-in-law.
The Foundry at Summit Point ice skating pond with
Killington Ski area in the background
This morning we woke up to six inches of snow and the drive home was a little touchy, the speed limit on I-89 was only 45. But I-91 was clear and everyone was doing the speed limit, once I got to Massachusetts the snow depth dropped and Connecticut only received a dusting.

We are all getting up in age, I am the youngest and my cousin from NY is the oldest. Let's just say we all qualify for Social Security.

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