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Hobby Lobby Loses Decade-Long Battle to Discriminate Against Trans Employees

After an 11 year battle, the discrimination legal battle of a transgender employee against the well-known religiously oriented employer Hobby Lobby has come to a happy ending for the employee. on Friday, Aug 13, 2021, Illinois’ 2nd District Appellate Court ruled that Megan Summerville, 51, suffered unlawful discrimination by her employer Hobby Lobby when the employer denied her access to the women’s bathroom. In doing so the court affirmed the Illinois Human Rights Commission’s earlier decision to award Summerville $220,000 in damages and returned the case back to the Commission to determine if additional damages are owed due to the company’s continued discrimination. Summerville’s case dates back to July 2010 when she informed her employer of her intent to begin using the woman’s restroom at her store – a year after starting her transition. According to court documents, Hobby Lobby changed her personnel records to reflect her new name and gender but refused to allow her to use the woman’s bathroom. Summerville’s management ordered other employees to report her if she used the woman’s bathroom. Hobby Lobby issued a warning upon one instance.

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