Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
Transgender individuals face discrimination in virtually every facet of their lives. While coming out as transgender can be difficult, the social adjustment is complicated by widespread harassment and rejection.
Access to medical assistance to transition from one sex to another can be a matter of life and death. Unfortunately, transgender identity is associated with social stigmatization, discrimination, and victimization, leading to all sorts of economic and social marginalization. An experienced discrimination attorney understands the complex world of disparate treatment and can help you fight for your rights.
If you or someone you know is a transgender person facing discrimination in education, work, health care, or housing services, you should schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney. The team at the Law Office of Andrew Shubin is eminently qualified and will fight relentlessly against discrimination. To schedule a consultation, call us at (814) 867-3115.
Common Types of Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals
The term transgender is an umbrella term used to identify individuals whose identity, expressions, and life experiences are different from the sex assigned at birth. Gender experiences are different in most cases. For some transgender individuals, discrimination is a health and safety issue. For example, those with gender dysphoria are at an increased risk for severe depression, leading to suicide attempts.
In a recent report entitled “A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018,” the Human Rights Campaign raises awareness about the prevalence of terrible violence and discrimination against transgender individuals in the United States. According to this report, transgender individuals face discrimination in:
- Employment: Reportedly, the transgendered face an unemployment rate that is three times higher than for the general population. Also, 30% of transgender employees report having been fired, denied a promotion, or another form of mistreatment due to gender identity.
- Education: Transgendered students don’t feel safe at school and face denial of access to services.
- Health Care: Denial of access to health insurance coverage, health care services, and health care professionals.
- Housing: 41% of transgendered people report homelessness.
- Social Services: Exclusion from access to much-needed services, such as homeless shelters, in addition to 52% reporting harassment in shelters.
Most people think that laws are always constitutional. However, this is not the case, especially when it comes to legislation specifically targeting transgender individuals. For example:
- Restrictions on single-sex facilities can forbid the use of restrooms based on gender identity.
- Religious exemptions can allow individuals to refuse services to transgender citizens based on disagreement with their identity.
- Child custody cases often allow courts and parents to disregard a child’s gender identity.
- 68% of transgender people report that their IDs and records don’t reflect the correct name and gender.
Laws Against Transgender Discrimination in Penn State College, PA
While “transgender” is not a protected class under the U.S. Constitution, there are federal and state laws specifically designed to protect transgender individuals. Discrimination on the basis of gender non-conformity is considered illegal gender stereotyping, prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause. In a case involving employment termination of an individual diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, a federal appeals court held that “an individual cannot be punished for his or her perceived gender non-conformity.” Glenn v. Brumby (2011).
There are also local laws designed to protect against discrimination because of sex. In State College, the Anti-Discrimination in Employment Ordinance prohibits employers’ refusal to hire or otherwise discriminate in any other way because of a person’s sex.
Gender Transitioning Laws
Discrimination is not the only problem; equal access to health services is critical, yet frequently denied. In a recent decision regarding access to medically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria, a federal court in Wisconsin ordered the health care facility to allow the procedure under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits denial of services because of the gender. The rationale guiding the court was that no one should be denied a medically necessary procedure for being transgender, just like others have access to gender-specific treatments covered by federally funded programs: for example, when a woman receives breast reduction surgery to prevent back, neck or shoulder pain.
In a compelling analysis, the Flack court shows a thorough understanding of the hardships and challenges that can lead a transgender individual to seek to transition for health reasons, noting that medical procedures that aid a transition can decrease the mistreatment that comes with being visibly gender-nonconforming. Similarly, transgender people who do not have access to those surgical procedures are at a higher risk for discrimination.
In reality, there are very few categories of people more discriminated against, or more deserving of the protection of the law, than transgender people. Flack v. Wis. Dept. of Health Servs. (W.D. Wis., 2018)
Call Reliable Transgender Discrimination Lawyer Andrew Shubin
There are multiple options for individuals encountering transgender discrimination. The type of action will depend on whether the discrimination involves employment termination or denial of access to health, education, or social services. You can file a federal lawsuit or a complaint at the State College Human Relations Commission. The specific facts of your case will guide decisions regarding where to file the action.
The team of lawyers of the law offices of Andrew Shubin is known for working with health care and other professionals in cases where discrimination can lead to serious health consequences. If you are a transgender individual, you should know there is help available in your situation. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (814) 867-3115.