Lakeland – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is filing a lawsuit against Lakeland Eye Clinic for discrimination after the clinic fired a transgender employee. saying the employer violated a federal law because the employee is transgender.

It was stated in the lawsuit that the woman was fired because she was transitioning from male to female, therefore not conforming to the employer’s gender-based expectations.

“An employee should not be denied employment opportunities because he or she does not conform to the preferred or expected gender norms or roles of the employer or co-workers,” Malcolm S. Medley, director for the EEOC’s Miami District Office, said in a press release. “Protections must be afforded to such employees.”

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Lakeland Eye Clinic violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination and includes discrimination based on gender stereotyping. The lawsuit further explains that the employee performed her duties in a well manner when she was employed. After she presented herself as a woman and informed the employer she was transgender, Lakeland Eye Clinic fired her.

The HRC praised the EEOC for filing the lawsuit.

“The lawsuits filed today by the EEOC are historic and a giant step toward ensuring American workers are judged based on the work they do, and not their gender identity,” Sarah Warbelow, HRC’s Legal Director, said in a press release. “Transgender people continue to face some of the highest levels of discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC has the ability to alleviate these problems now and deserves immense praise for tackling the issue head on.”

The lawsuit states the defendant is seeking both monetary and injunctive relief.

From our media partner Watermark