Army Forced to Pay Damages for Not Allowing Transwoman to Use Women’s Bathroom

April 9, 2015

The Army is being forced to pay a transwoman after she complained that a private, "gender-neutral" bathroom was not enough.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling last week said the Army discriminated against Tamara Lusardi, a military veteran and civilian software specialist who began transitioning from male to female in 2010, by not letting Lusardi use the ladies bathroom.

The Washington Post reports:

Lusardi, who served in the Army from 1986 to 1993, said the Army required her to use a single-person, gender-neutral restroom out of concerns that other employees might feel "uncomfortable" sharing a restroom with her.

She also alleged that management and co-workers called her "sir" and "it" after she began dressing as a woman and legally changed her name, driver’s license and security clearance.

The Army argued that it provided legitimate and non-discriminatory reasons for requiring the employee to use the single-user restroom and that management was supportive of her transition. But the commission determined that federal law prohibits the department’s actions.

According to the report, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) also ruled in favor of Lusardi last year, and "ordered the Army to provide sensitivity training" and monetary damages.

"Lusardi’s case was part of a broader push by the government to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees in the federal workforce," the Washington Post said.

The Daily Caller reported last fall on the OSC ruling, noting that Lusardi had voluntarily agreed to use a private restroom in 2010 "given that he had not undergone gender transition surgery and several female employees had expressed serious concern about sharing a restroom with a man presenting as a woman."

"However, Lusardi didn’t stick to the agreement, using the female restroom on three separate occasions between January and March 2011," the report said. "After females again reported discomfort, Lusardi was informed that he should continue to use the executive restroom as agreed, but he protested."

Lusardi ultimately took his case to the OSC and now the EEOC, winning both.

Published under: Army , Military