Landmark Transgender Case Challenges Constitutionality of ADA Exclusion


Source: Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C.
Published: 2015-01-26
Summary: Constitutionality of Americans with Disabilities Act is being challenged in court regarding exclusion of transgender people.


In a discrimination case pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia employment law firm of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. challenges the constitutionality of the ADA's exclusion of transgender people.

In what could become a landmark case, the constitutionality of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is being challenged in court for the first time by plaintiff, Kate Lynn Blatt, and her attorneys from prominent Philadelphia employment law firm, Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case 5:14-cv-04822-JLS.

Kate Lynn Blatt filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, Cabela's, claiming that her dismissal violated her rights under the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Kate Lynn Blatt is transgender. Historically, transgender individuals who have filed lawsuits alleging discrimination have done so solely under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, in part due to the past success of this argument, but also because of a discriminatory clause excluding transgender Americans from protection under the ADA. The exclusion explicitly states that transsexual individuals are not protected from discrimination under the ADA. Philadelphia employment lawyers, Sidney L. Gold, Brian Farrell and Neelima Vanguri, of Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. are arguing that this exclusion is in direct violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Kate Lynn Blatt was fired from her job at Cabela's in 2007.

According to court documents, before being terminated Ms. Blatt endured various forms of harassment and mistreatment from other employees and management because she was transgender. The claim alleges that coworkers used derogatory slurs to address Ms. Blatt, and management refused to allow her to use the women's restroom or dress as a woman. Ms. Blatt also reports being denied promotions and secluded in one department of the store during her employment. In addition to awarding Ms. Blatt some much deserved justice, her lawsuit could be a monumental victory for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) movement. This constitutional challenge to the ADA on behalf of transgender people is the next logical step in the LGBT movement. The ADA's exclusion of transgender people represents government sanctioned discrimination and has remained unchallenged for too long.

The brief filed this week by Philadelphia employment lawyers directly challenges the constitutionality of the ADA exclusion of transgender individuals. The brief states that "…the exclusion injures the very class of people the ADA seeks to protect." President Obama made reference to transgender Americans and the need for human dignity in his State of the Union address earlier this week. The President also issued an executive order in July prohibiting gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination among federal contractors. Moreover, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently announced that he has appointed a transgender woman to be the state's new physician general.

Political views pertaining to sexual orientation and transgenderism have come a long way since the ADA became law in 1990. Philadelphia discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. are committed to fighting for the rights of equal protection for every American, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, age, gender, or ethnicity.

The law offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. are located on Market Street in Center City, Philadelphia. Call Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or contact us online.

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