On August 13, 2021, the Illinois Second District Appellate Court upheld the Illinois Human Rights Commission’s determination that Hobby Lobby violated the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) by refusing to allow a transgender employee to use the restroom that matched her gender identity and awarded $220,000 in emotional distress damages against Hobby Lobby.
In this case, Hobby Lobby’s policy was to limit employees and customers to using the restroom that matched their designated sex at birth. The plaintiff was born a male, but during her employment with Hobby Lobby transitioned to a female. She underwent medical treatment to transition and began using a female name and coming to work in feminine dress and makeup. She also obtained a court order legally changing her name to her female name and obtained an Illinois drivers’ license and social security card which identified her by her female name and as being a female.
Hobby Lobby changed her personnel records and benefits information to reflect that the plaintiff was a female, rather than a male. However, Hobby Lobby continued to refuse to allow her to use the women’s restroom. When the plaintiff used the women’s restroom, Hobby Lobby disciplined her by issuing her a written warning and ordering other employees to report her if she tried using the women’s restroom.
Read the source article at jdsupra.com