Funeral Home To Pay $250,000 In Settlement For Firing An Employee Who Wanted To Undergo Gender Transition

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Elizabeth Weibel Contributor
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A funeral home in Michigan will pay $250,000 in settlement fees over firing a now deceased transgender woman who worked for their company.

Aimee Stephens was fired from RG & GR Harris Funeral Homes after telling the company that she was planning to start her transition process, The Hill reported.

A federal judge explained in 2016 that the president’s religious beliefs were a valid excuse for firing Stephens. However, two years later an appeals court brought the case back and sided with Stephens, saying her firing went against Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Stephens died in May prior to the Supreme Court ruling that it was unlawful discrimination to refuse employment to a person because of sexual orientation or gender identity, The Hill reported. (RELATED: Ellen Page Shares Transgender Announcement, Changes Name To Elliot Page)

The settlement requires that the funeral home pay Stephen’s estate $130,000 in damages, as well as $120,000 in attorney fees. The company is also paying $3,700 in another claim against them where the company reportedly practiced discrimination by providing men with clothing attire, and telling women to buy their own clothing.

“The law is now clear that discrimination against an employee because of his or her transgender status is sex discrimination,” Dale Price, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) trial attorney explained. “Employers also cannot discriminate on the basis of sex with regard to providing employees with clothing benefits.”