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Saks Changes Its Mind on Transgender Discrimination

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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Saks Fifth Avenue will no longer argue in court that transgender people aren't covered by federal anti-discrimination laws. Buzzfeed reports that on Monday, the retailer withdrew its court filing asserting that transgender workers are not covered by the sex discrimination ban in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That controversial argument was in response to a lawsuit from a former Saks employee, Leyth Jamal, who claims that she was mistreated by the company and fired because she was transgender.

Saks's legal argument was denounced by the Human Rights Campaign, and the Justice Department filed its own motion in the case, writing: "In its Motion, SAKS maintains that Ms. Jamal cannot prevail on a Title VII sex discrimination claim that is based on her gender identity, particularly her transgender status. Not so. Discrimination against an individual based on gender identity is discrimination because of sex."

Saks will continue to contest Jamal's suit, but will focus on the merit of her claims, instead of arguing that Title VII doesn't cover transgender workers.
· As Justice Department Weighs In, Saks Backs Down On Claims In Trans Discrimination Case [Buzzfeed]
· Saks Backtracks in Transgender Discrimination Case [Time]
· Nation's Biggest LGBT Group Is Not Happy With Saks [Racked]