The billion-dollar Wall Street firm vs Leyth Jamal case will either set the stage for trans workplace equality or demolish it.
Saks fifth Avenue, operated by Hudson’s Bay company and owned by the billion-dollar wall street investing firm NRDC, says its legal to discriminate based on gender identity. This inspite of the EEOC stance and recent court rulings indicating otherwise. Transgender people are not implicitly included in the 1964 civil rights Act so the outcome of this case will be of paramount importance to Leyth Jamal and every transgender person.
Saks Fifth Avenue has filled a motion to dismiss attempting to invalidate Leyth Jamal’s trans status in a most disrespectful fashion.
Saks’s attorney also uses the word “[sic]” (a term generally used to indicate that a quote includes some kind of error) when referring to Jamal’s gender, writing that Jamal claimed she was mistreated “because of ‘her [sic] gender’” at work. While Saks, according to the Human Rights Campaign, reports having a nondiscrimination policy that includes gender identity protection, Saks’s brief states “it is well-settled that policies in an employee handbook do not create a contract.”
HRC suspended Saks Fifth Avenue’s Corporate Equality Index rating .
“Saks’ arguments are hugely concerning to us,” said Deena Fidas, Director of HRC’s Workplace Equality Program on a blog post Thursday. “In its court filings, Saks attempts to secure a motion to dismiss Ms. Jamal’s allegations by simultaneously calling into question the validity of its own non-discrimination policy and the larger, crucial protections afforded by Title VII. The policies our CEI advances are not window dressings for any company to prop up or disregard in the face of individual allegations of misconduct. Saks is publicly undercutting the applicability of its own policies reported in the CEI and we must suspend Saks’ CEI score until further notice.”
HRC has contacted Saks and asked them to clarify these two issues and amend their legal filings.
I know where not to shop
Hudson’s Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada and the United States, including Hudson’s Bay, Home Outfitters, Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue and three Zellers liquidation stores. HBC’s head office is in the Simpson Tower in Toronto, Ontario. The company is owned by the New York-based firm NRDC Equity Partners.