Meet Aimee Stephens | National Center for Transgender Equality

Meet Aimee Stephens

Photo by Charles William Kelly

Who is Aimee Stephens?

Meet Aimee (and her cat, Scandel).

Aimee is a 59-year-old transgender woman from Michigan. She worked at a funeral home for six years supporting families after they lost a loved one.

It’s illegal to fire someone because they are transgender nationwide. But Aimee was fired from her job at that funeral home right after she came out to her boss.  

 

Why is she at the Supreme Court?

After Aimee’s boss fired her for being trans, the ACLU helped Aimee file a complaint with the federal EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). The EEOC sued the funeral home on her behalf, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Aimee was unlawfully fired and that federal sex discrimination laws protect transgender people. 

After losing in court multiple times, Aimee’s former employer still thinks that they should have been allowed to fire Aimee for being trans, so they petitioned the Supreme Court hoping that the court will give them a different decision. 

This case will decide whether trans people like Aimee can be fired just because of who they are. The Court will listen to both sides on October 8th.

 

What happens if Aimee wins?

If Aimee wins, it will remain illegal to fire a transgender person from their job because they are trans.

 

What happens if Aimee loses?

If Aimee loses at the Supreme Court, then it will become legal for most employers to fire people because they are transgender. 

 

What if I live in a state with its own laws banning anti-trans discrimination?

21 states have their own laws making it illegal to fire someone because they’re trans. Those laws will stay in place in those states whether Aimee wins or loses at the Supreme Court and it will remain illegal to fire a trans person no matter what.

But if Aimee loses, it will become legal to fire a trans person in the other 29 states. That means the majority of transgender people can be fired because of who they are. 

 

What happens next?

After the Supreme Court listens to both Aimee and her old boss on October 8th, they will announce their decision in either January of 2020 or the summer of 2020.

 

What can I do?

We are joining other civil rights organizations at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on October 8th. You can sign up to join us by clicking here

You can also contact your Senator and ask them to pass the Equality Act, which would make it illegal for any employer in every state to fire a trans person. The law passed the House of Representatives in May of this year, but the law must pass the Senate and be signed by the President.

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