In October of 2013, Jameka Evans voluntarily quit her job as a security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah, GA. A year and a half later she sued her former employer for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She alleges she was “targeted [by her supervisor for termination” because, according to Evans, “it is evident that I identify with the male gender because I presented myself visually (male uniform, low male haircut, shoes, etc.).”
However, The U.S. District Court in Savannah ruled Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not confer special protection status on the basis of sexual orientation or “gender nonconformity” and dismissed her case for failure to plead an actionable claim.
That is when Lambda Legal, an organization of LGBT legal advocates, appealed Evans’s case to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which subsequently upheld the lower court’s ruling. Lambda Legal is now taking the case to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Lambda Legal is also a leading actor in the legal challenge against the Trump administration’s policy of maintaining pre-Obama restrictions on transgender military service.
Earlier this week, 76 corporations filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to rewrite the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “sexual orientation” under the scope Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of… sex.” The following companies have signed the brief:
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company
City National Bank
Diageo North America
The Estee Lauder Companies
Levi Strauss & Co.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
On Top of the World Communities
RBC Bank (Georgia), N.A.
RBC Capital Markets
Rhapsody International Inc. d/b/a/ Napster
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Royal Bank of Canada
Sun Life Financial
Tampa Bay Rays Baseball
Trillium Asset Management