MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A nationally-recognized check printing company has agreed to pay a man who identifies as a woman $75,000 in a settlement over a discrimination complaint regarding the use of the company restrooms.
Deluxe Financial Services, Inc. had been sued by a former call center employee who goes by the name Britney Austin, who announced to his employers in 2011 that he was in the process of transitioning into a woman. Austin alleged that Deluxe officials would not let him use the women’s restroom and would not change his name to Britney on his employment forms, stating that a sex change operation would be required first.
He also stated that when the location where Austin worked closed, he was not given severance pay.
In June 2015, Austin sued Deluxe with the backing of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging discrimination and harassment.
The two sides have now agreed to a consent decree in which Deluxe declined to acknowledge any wrongdoing, but settled with Austin in the amount of $2,254 in back pay and $72,783 in damages. Deluxe will also pay nearly $40,000 in attorneys fees and expenses.
The company announced this past week that it had changed its policies as well to allow men who identify as women and vice versa to use the restroom that corresponds with their preferred identity.
“The company has changed its policies to ensure that transgender employees may use a restroom commensurate with their gender identity, that the company will promptly correct that employee’s sex designation and name in our internal records and systems, and that we will take hostile comments based on sex- stereotyping seriously, investigate them, and take prompt corrective and remedial action,” it said.
“We are extremely grateful to the EEOC 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,” attorney Jillian Weiss, who represented Austin, also remarked in a statement. “The Jillian T. Weiss Law Firm is also excited to have achieved the first major Americans with Disabilities Act victory on behalf of a transgender employee.”
As previously reported, the New York City Commission on Human Rights recently issued guidelines that would impose fines on employers who decline to refer to transgender workers by their preferred pronouns or disallow them from using the restroom of their choice. Violations could result in penalties up to $125,000 and up to $250,000 for transgressions of the law that are considered to be “willfull, wanton or malicious conduct.”
However, not all believe that it is loving to support and affirm a person’s desire to live as those of the opposite sex. As previously reported, Walt Heyer, a 75-year-old man who obtained a sex change operation in the 1980’s to live as a woman for eight years before reverting back to his biological gender, is now sharing his story with the world of how Christ redeemed his life and gave him hope.
“Nobody’s ever born a transgender,” he told the Daily Mail in January of last year. “They’re manufactured as a result of something, a developmental childhood issue that has yet to be determined for many people.”
“All of them have some level of depression, and we’re not treating them,” Heyer lamented. “We’re just cutting off body parts and giving them a new name and a new gender.”
“God designed man; He designed women,” he also said in an online video in which he shares his personal testimony. “God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that.”