Aimee Stephens in front of the Supreme Court

R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v EEOC & Aimee Stephens

Location: Michigan
Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: June 15, 2020

What's at Stake

Aimee Stephens had worked for nearly six years as a funeral director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes when she informed the funeral home’s owner that she is a transgender woman. She was fired, the EEOC sued on her behalf, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Aimee’s employer engaged in unlawful sex discrimination when it fired her because she’s transgender. We represented Aimee Stephens in front of the U.S. Supreme Court — and won.

Aimee spent nearly 20 years over three decades working in funeral services, a career she discovered while studying to become a Baptist minister. She enjoyed knowing that she was helping people remember their loved ones at peace and received positive feedback from her employer and coworkers.

Aimee said that as early as age five, she knew she was a girl. In 2008, Aimee started seeing a therapist to discuss and explore her knowledge that she is a woman. By 2012, Aimee made the decision to tell her coworkers that she is a woman. Two weeks after she told her boss in 2013, she was fired. This caused Aimee and her wife Donna to suffer financially and left Aimee without health insurance when her kidney’s failed.

After Aimee was fired, the ACLU assisted Aimee with the filing of a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC sued the funeral home for sex discrimination and the ACLU has joined the case to ensure Aimee’s interests are protected as the case moves forward. In March of 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Aimee was unlawfully fired and that federal sex discrimination laws protect transgender people.

The Supreme Court was asked to consider whether it is sex discrimination under federal civil rights statutes to fire someone because the person is transgender, and on June 15, 2020, the court ruled it is illegal to fire someone for being LGBTQ.

Most Americans understand that it’s both wrong and unlawful to fire someone for being LGBTQ. No one should have to live in fear that they can be fired just because of who they are.

See all of the friend-of-the-court briefs filed in the LGBTQ discrimination cases before the Supreme Court.

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