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Saks claims it has the right to discriminate against transgender employees

Is it legal to discriminate against an employee for being transgender? The Justice Department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and some courts say no. But in a motion filed in federal court, Saks & Co. says yes. In its filing, Saks asks that an ex-employee’s discrimination lawsuit be dismissed “because transsexuals are not a protected class under Title VII,” the part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that bans employment discrimination based on race, religion, or sex…[T]he plaintiff, a transgender woman…alleges that she was instructed to “separate her home life from her work life” by behaving in a more masculine way, and ultimately was terminated because she spoke up…Saks’s motion denies the allegations…The LGBT civil rights group Human Rights Campaign [said] it was suspending Saks’s rating in HRC’s Corporate Equality Index in protest of Saks’s…legal arguments…[A]s Saks’s filing…illustrates, the EEOC’s or DOJ’s determination lacks the…force of a Supreme Court ruling or a…statute...