Hobby Lobby loses Illinois transgender rest room accessibility case


“Sommerville is female, just like the girls who are permitted to use the women’s rest room,” the court reported. “The only reason that Sommerville is barred from employing the women’s bathroom is that she is a transgender woman, as opposed to the other gals (at least, as far as Pastime Lobby is aware of.)”

The ruling marks a major advancement in an aspect of LGBT employment legal rights that the U.S. Supreme Court docket didn’t tackle in its landmark 2020 final decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which claimed federal workplace legislation prohibits discrimination dependent on gender id or sexual orientation.

“This conclusion will have national implications and commence the method of courts close to the region addressing the situation of rest room entry,” claimed lawyer Jacob Meister, who represents Sommerville.

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Interest Lobby’s lawyer, Whitman Brisky of Mauck & Baker LLC, didn’t immediately answer to telephone and e mail requests for remark.

The Next District, which ruled that Interest Foyer violated Illinois regulation for barring bias in employment and public lodging, upheld a $220,000 judgment for psychological distress and attorneys’ fees against the organization.

Sommerville, who even now will work for Hobby Lobby, submitted a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission in 2013 after she was disciplined for employing the women’s rest room at the keep. The commission dominated in 2019 that the company’s toilet plan was unlawful.

In Friday’s conclusion, the 2nd District famous that Passion Lobby’s rest room ban drove Sommerville to restrict her fluid ingestion, which induced her health and fitness difficulties. The constraints also gave her recurring nightmares about bathrooms, and currently being assaulted and mocked by men, the court docket stated.

The unanimous three-choose 2nd District panel turned down Passion Lobby’s argument that a person’s intercourse is an immutable condition.

Nothing at all in the Illinois Human Rights Act implies supports the company’s argument, Justice Mary Seminara-Schostok wrote for the panel, which also involved Justices Kathryn Zenoff and Ann Jorgensen.

In addition, Hobby Foyer claimed through litigation that it would enable Sommerville to use the women’s lavatory if she developed a birth certificate expressing she’s woman or underwent genital surgical procedure, the panel said.

“Hobby Lobby’s argument that female standing is someway immutable is belied not only by the Act,” Schostok wrote, “but also by its possess conduct.”

The circumstance is Interest Lobby v. Sommerville, Ill. Application. Ct., 2d Dist., No. 2-19-0362, 8/13/21.

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