Dr. Rachel Tudor, who holds a doctorate in English from the University of Oklahoma, was awarded 1,165,000 in a federal discrimination suit, Tudor v. Southeastern Oklahoma State University under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dr. Tudor worked as a tenure track English professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma from 2004 until she was fired in 2011.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Southeastern and its governing board in March 2015, alleging Tudor was denied tenure and ultimately fired because of her sex. Tudor joined that lawsuit shortly after it was filed. In May 2015, the State of Oklahoma asked a federal court in Oklahoma to toss out Tudor’s sex discrimination claim simply because Tudor is a transgender woman. In July 2015, the Oklahoma court ruled that Title VII, a federal nondiscrimination law prohibiting sex discrimination, protects transgender people from sex discrimination and green-lighted Tudor’s case to move forward.
US DOJ settled with the university, and last month it withdrew from the case. With Jeff Sessions issuing a disturbing memo saying that the Justice Department would no longer no longer interpret Title VII as covering transgender individuals.
Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans said: “Today’s news is a tremendous victory for Rachel and the many transgender people across America who face discrimination at work…Across the country, courts are increasingly reaching the conclusion that sex and gender stereotyping is a form of sex discrimination and therefore illegal under Title VII. Employees should be judged solely on their work ethnic and performance — no one should fear being treated differently in the workplace because of who they are. We applaud Rachel’s bravery for coming forward and we hope others who face discrimination are similarly brought to justice.”