Biden Admin Sued Over New Gender Identity Employer Rules

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is leading 18 states in a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after it released new guidance extending sex-based discrimination protections to gender identity.

The states joining Tennessee are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The new guidance may hold an employer liable if they do not use an employee’s preferred pronouns.

An employee must also have access to facilities consistent with their preferred identity.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits an employer from treating you differently, or less favorably, because of your sex, which is defined to include pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” EEOC guidelines read. “This law also prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes (unfair or untrue beliefs) about abilities and traits associated with gender. In addition, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. These protections apply even if state or local laws take a different position. Everyone, regardless of gender, is protected from sex discrimination under Title VII.”

“In America, the Constitution gives the power to make laws to the people’s elected representatives, not to unaccountable commissioners, and this EEOC guidance is an attack on our constitutional separation of powers,” Skrmetti said.

“When, as here, a federal agency engages in government over the people instead of government by the people, it undermines the legitimacy of our laws and alienates Americans from our legal system,” he continued. “This end-run around our constitutional institutions misuses federal power to eliminate women’s private spaces and punish the use of biologically-accurate pronouns, all at the expense of Tennessee employers.”

The lawsuit claims that the EEOC is overstepping its authority, violating state sovereignty, and violating the separation of powers.

In 2021, Biden released the “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation,” which said it was the administration’s policy to “prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

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