Technical assistance

Texas sues Biden administration over guidelines saying transgender workers can use any bathroom they choose


(TEXAS TRIBUNE) – Texas Attorney General Ken paxton sues the Biden administration over recent federal guidelines issued to protect LGBTQ people in the workplace, including a directive that says employees should be allowed to use bathrooms, locker rooms and showers that match their gender identity.

The guidelines also clarify that the misuse of a person’s preferred pronouns may be considered harassment in certain circumstances.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Federal Court for the Northern District of Texas, Paxton claims the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act when it released a technical assistance document outlining the impact of a landmark US Supreme Court ruling. Last year. This decision prohibited discrimination against the employer on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.. Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of sex.

Defendants in the lawsuit include the EEOC, commission chair Charlotte A. Burrows, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

EEOC guidelines, released on June 15, clarifies that employers should not prohibit transgender employees from dressing their gender identity or using bathrooms, locker rooms or showers compatible with their gender identity.

In a statement, Paxton called the guidelines “illegal” and an “unacceptable” attempt to “force businesses, including the state of Texas, to come into line with their beliefs.”

“If the Biden administration believes it can force states to conform to their political agenda, my office will fight their sweeping attempt at social change,” Paxton said.

In the lawsuit, Paxton also argued that the EEOC violated the First and Eleventh Amendments, as well as the Administrative Procedure Law, which specifies how government agencies make regulations.

The EEOC said in an email Monday that it was not commenting on the pending litigation, but would be represented by the Justice Department, which declined to comment on Monday.

In a statement released in June, Burrows said the recently released EEOC resources following the 2020 Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County “will help people better understand their rights and responsibilities related to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. . “

“All people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, deserve the opportunity to work in an environment free from harassment or other discrimination,” Burrows said. “The Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County is a historic milestone that resulted from the struggle, sacrifice and vision of many brave LGBTQ + individuals and allies who have stood up for the civil rights of LGBTQ + communities.

Transgender Texans have long been the target of Republican state officials. In 2017, the state legislature attempted to pass Senate Bill 6, known as “bathroom billThis would have forced transgender people to use the toilets in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on their sex assigned at birth. However, the bill was not passed, even in a subsequent special session.

During this year’s regular legislative session, lawmakers introduced numerous bills targeting transgender Texans, including legislation that would restrict transgender student athletes. participation in school sports and prohibit doctors from offering gender affirming medical care. But none of these measures reached the government. Greg Abbottthe office of.

In the three special sessions he has called since May, Abbott has made limiting the athletic participation of transgender student athletes a priority. No such measure was adopted during the first two extraordinary sessions. The third extraordinary session of this year began on Monday.

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