The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday it is suing a state university in Oklahoma because it denied a transgender professor a promotion, which subsequently led to the employee’s termination.
Both the Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) are being sued by the DOJ for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the department announced in a statement Monday.
The reasoning was Southeastern discriminated “against a transgender employee on the basis of her sex and retaliating against her when she complained about the discrimination.” This is the background as told by the DOJ:
Rachel Tudor began working for Southeastern as an Assistant Professor in 2004. At the time of her hire, Tudor presented as a man. In 2007, Tudor, consistent with her gender identity, began to present as a woman at work.
Throughout her employment, Tudor performed her job well, and in 2009, she applied for a promotion to the tenured position of Associate Professor. Southeastern’s administration denied her application, overruling the recommendations of her department chair and other tenured faculty from her department.
Tudor filed complaints in 2010 because she was denied tenure. She alleges she was denied the right to re-apply for tenure and promotion after the university learned of the complaints, in spite of the school’s policy allowing for re-application. After the 2010-11 school year, Tudor was fired because she did not have tenure.
“By standing beside Dr. Tudor, the Department of Justice sends a clear message that we are committed to eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
We will not allow unfair biases and unjust prejudices to prevent transgender Americans from reaching their full potential as workers and as citizens. And we will continue to work tirelessly, using every legal tool available, to ensure that transgender individuals are guaranteed the rights and protections that all Americans deserve.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom