Transgender Louisiana employee wins sex discrimination case

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LAKE CHARLES, La. (WGNO) – A federal arbitrator has ruled that Tower Loan discriminated against a  transgender former employee when the company’s vice president told him he had to dress and act like a woman because that’s what was listed on his driver’s license.

Tristan Broussard filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming that he was forced to leave the job at Tower Loan in Lake Charles after he refused to comply with the company’s orders to dress and act like a woman.

The arbitrator ruled that discriminating against Broussard “because of his sex” is a violation of provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The company was ordered to pay more than a year of pay, as well as compensation for emotional distress.

“I am very happy to have this ruling,” said Broussard. “I just wanted to work hard and do my job and I hope this ruling will allow other employees the chance to do the same.”

Broussard is represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Altshuler Berzon LLP, and Delaney, Robb & Rubin.

“No one should have to face employment discrimination or the fear of being fired simply because of their sex,” said Amy Whelan, a senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“This is not only an important win for Mr. Broussard, but also for the entire transgender community in Louisiana,” said Ryan Delaney. “There is no place for discrimination in Louisiana or in our society as a whole.”