The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notes, “Discrimination against an individual because that person is transgender is discrimination because of sex in violation of Title VII. This is also known as gender identity discrimination” ("EEOC - Sex," n.d., para. 3). According to Canas and Sondak (2014), many states have adopted legislation that supports transgender people as a protected class. Colorado passed legislation extending protection to transgender people in 2008 (Brinker & Maza, 2014). However, one of the biggest controversies surrounding transgender individuals is which bathroom should they use? Zanin (2009) notes, “bathrooms remain one of the most acceptable gender-segregated spaces in cities which can
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In 2002, a federal appeals court in Minnesota ruled via Cruzan vs Davis that an employer has the right to instruct an employee to use the bathroom that matches their gender presentation and if other employees have issues with this, the complaining employee, not the transgender person, should be provided with an alternative accommodation ("Access," 2005). Despite this ruling, some employers continue to force transgender employees to go home or to post signs signaling they are in the bathroom. In some cases, workers were required to walk over a quarter mile to use another facility ("Access," 2005). These actions are considered discriminatory and are illegal.
Coy Mathis is a six year old child who was born as a male but has presented herself as female since the age of four after being diagnosed with gender dsyphoria (Erdely, 2013). Coy was allowed to use the girls’ bathroom for almost a year before school administrators contacted her parents and informed them Coy would have to use the nurse/staff bathroom instead. According to Erdely (2013), school officials argued since Coy retained male genitalia, other girls might have an issue with Coy in the girls’ bathroom. Upon hearing this, the family withdrew Coy and her four siblings from the school and sued the district for discrimination (Erdely, 2013). In June 2013, the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled that the