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Kates Nussman Rapone Ellis & Farhi, LLP

Sex Discrimination Against the Transgendered – The New Frontier

Sex discrimination in the workplace usually brings to mind images of female subordinates harassed by male superiors. But the traditional notion of sex discrimination has been radically changed in recent years by discrimination and harassment of the transgendered.

El'Jai Devoureau of Camden, New Jersey was born a female but changed his gender to male "legally, medically and socially" in 2009. He began working at the Camden Treatment Associates in June 2010. One day after he started, he was confronted by a supervisor who discovered that he was born female. After refusing to answer the supervisor's questions about his gender reassignment surgery, Devoureau was fired.

He has filed suit in a New Jersey Court claiming sex discrimination and disability discrimination. The disability discrimination claim is based on the description of transsexualism as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. Ultimately, Devoureau's case will be the first to test the New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination's 4 year old legal protections for the transgendered.

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