by Aron Eades
Originally published: July 25, 2016
The federal government is suing a furniture store for discrimination.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says Rent-A-Center fired an employee because she's transgender. Now they're taking them to court for violating the Civil Rights Act. But Rent-A-Center says that's not the full story. They say the employee was fired because they violated company policy, but that doesn't line up with what the government found.
The commission claims their pre-lawsuit investigation "revealed the company's managers disapproved of the employee's gender transition and found a pretext for firing her." They say that violates title seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
We reached out to the UP Center of Champaign county a service agency for the area's L.G.B.T. community. They say the government going to bat for transgender rights is a sign of changing times.
"I think it's long overdue. I think this has been happening for a very long time, and it's about time that the federal government has been able to one, recognize this, clarify it, be able to say 'we are going to support trans folks. Because it's very difficult as an individual person, to go and try to take your claim to someone and feel like you're gonna be heard. You need support."