Protect your source for what’s happening in Detroit and around the world. Make your gift of support for WDET today »

Judge Rules Company had Right to Fire Transgender Employee

A federal judge says a Metro Detroit funeral home did nothing illegal when it fired a transgender employee who sought to work while dressed as a woman.

The ruling stems from a complaint filed in 2014 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home in Garden City.

The home fired a funeral director and embalmer who had worked there for half-a-dozen years after the employee informed ownership that he planned to transition to a woman and would soon begin wearing women’s business attire at work.

The company argued that would violate their requirement that employees dress in a way that is sensitive to grieving family members. They said it would also violate the religious beliefs of the owners.

Now a federal judge has agreed with the company, ruling that the owners have a legal right to practice their faith as they see fit.

It’s not clear whether the ruling will be appealed.

About the Author

Quinn Klinefelter

Senior News Editor

I grab news in the morning, check the papers and the wires, call sources and take a big gulp of coffee. That’s how I start the day.

qklinefelter@wdet.org  

We want to hear from you.
Share your thoughts and opinions: