Transgender woman wins landmark settlement in job discrimination case

Advocates say the settlement is a "strong statement" that discrimination against trans employees won't be tolerated

By Katie McDonough
September 17, 2013 5:23PM (UTC)
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(Flickr Creative Commons)

A transgender woman who was terminated from her job after informing her employer that she would be transitioning from living as a man to living as a woman has reached a landmark settlement in a job discrimination case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced.

Cory McCreery was fired in 2010 from Don's Valley Market in Rapid City, S.D., and Lambda Legal filed a complaint in 2012 charging that the termination violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


In addition to receiving $50,000, the maximum settlement allowable for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, the settlement will require that McCreery's former employer post a public notice about job discrimination on the workplace bulletin board, host an annual, all-staff training on workplace protections and issue a letter of apology and letter of recommendation for McCreery.

Dru Levasseur, Lambda’s transgender rights project director, said the settlement is “a strong statement” from the EEOC that transgender workplace discrimination is unacceptable. “The days of firing people on the basis of their gender identity or gender expression have passed," he added.

McCreery has said she is “so incredibly thrilled” with the decision.


“This gives me hope,” she added. “The day I was fired, I had no idea what I would do. I now feel a sense of closure and can focus on my future. No one should be fired just because of who they are.”


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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