R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Aimee Stephens was argued on October 8, 2019. It was decided on June 15, 2020.
This case asks: Does the term “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which makes it unlawful for an employer to fire or refuse to hire an individual or to base their wages or benefits on the basis of their “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”) include transgender status?
Aimee Stephens (formerly Anthony Stephens) worked as an embalmer and funeral director at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. in Michigan for almost six years. Stephens is a transgender woman. Harris Funeral Homes has a gender specific dress code that requires men to wear a suit and women to wear skirts or dresses at all times. For most of her time working for the funeral home, Stephens presented herself as a man and wore a suit. On July 31, 2013, she informed her employer that she was going to begin living openly as a woman and stated her intention to dress in “appropriate business attire” for women to meet the requirements of the funeral home’s female dress code. Two weeks later, the owner of the funeral home fired Stephens.
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