Texas Court Dismisses Transgender Discrimination Claims: An Interview with Kenneth J. Kelly

Employment Law This Week

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Employment Law This Week (Episode 59: Week of February 13, 2017) has released bonus footage of its interview with Kenneth J. Kelly, Co-Chair of the National Litigation Steering Committee at Epstein Becker Green.

As Mr. Kelly discusses, transgender discrimination claims were dismissed recently by a federal court in Texas. A transgender employee of L-3 Communications filed suit against the company and its health insurance provider after she was denied coverage for breast implants. The implants were deemed medically necessary by a health care professional to treat gender dysphoria. The employee alleged discrimination in violation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The Texas court dismissed the Section 1557 and ERISA claims, finding that neither includes protections against gender identity discrimination. The judge declined to dismiss the employee’s Title VII claims against L-3 Communications, rejecting the company’s argument that the denial of benefits was not an adverse employment action.

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