WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Southeastern Oklahoma State University is facing a lawsuit from the US government for discriminating against a transgender professor on the basis of sex, the US Department of Justice announced in a statement.
“By standing beside Dr. Tudor, the Department of Justice sends a clear message that we are committed to eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement on Monday. “We will not allow unfair biases and unjust prejudices to prevent transgender Americans from reaching their full potential as workers and as citizens.”
The Justice Department initiated the lawsuit after Professor Rachel Tudor, once a male professor, was denied a promotion as a tenured Associate Professor.
Southeastern rejected Tudor’s application and also overruled her department chair and tenured faculty members’ recommendations on her behalf.
In 2010, after Southeastern learned that Tudor had filed complaints about being denied promotion and tenure, the University refused to let Tudor re-apply for the position, despite their policy of allowing employees to re-apply for positions. By the end of the academic year, Southeastern terminated Tudor’s employment because she had not secured tenure.
Title VII prohibits sex discrimination which includes discriminating against gender identity, or against employees who are undertaking or have completed a gender transition process, according to the DoJ. Additionally, Title VII prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who raise complaints of discriminatory treatment.