Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


In 2013, Aimee Stephens, an employee of six years at R.G & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, informed her employer she is transgender, and would begin living as a woman full time. The employer disbelieved Stephens’ gender identity; they viewed Stephens as male, and in violation of their sex specific dress code for men, which requires men to wear button downs and ties, and women to wear skirts and heels. Two weeks after informing her employer of her true gender identity, Harris Funeral Homes fired Stephens, stating that her refusal to abide by the sex specific dress code as a “biological male” was the reason for termination. The employer has not denied that Ms. Stephens was fired due to her transgender identity, but rather, contends that her gender identity is not a protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, among other forms.