Banner: Employment

active cases

Victory! (California)

Sulpizio v. San Diego Mesa College
Lorri Sulpizio was the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at San Diego Mesa College, and her domestic partner, Cathy Bass, assisted the team and served as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations for over eight years. Despite Sulpizio’s and Bass’s dedication and demonstrated track record of success leading the women’s basketball program at the community college, Mesa officials discharged both coaches at the end of the 2007 academic year after Coach Sulpizio repeatedly advocated for equal treatment of female student-athletes and female faculty, and following publication in a local paper of an article identifying Sulpizio and Bass as domestic partners.

closed cases

Loss (Utah)

Etsitty v. Utah Transit Authority
Despite her spotless employment record, Krystal Etsitty, a transgender woman, was fired from her job as a public bus driver by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), solely because UTA feared that members of the public might be offended by Etsitty’s transgender identity.


Loss (Nevada)

Jespersen v. Harrah's Casino
NCLR and the Transgender Law Center filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit supporting Darlene Jespersen, who was fired by Harrah's Casino after she refused to comply with a new policy requiring female employees to adopt a hyper-feminine appearance. Harrah's policy required all women to wear heavy makeup applied in exactly the same way every day, to match a photograph held by the supervisor.


Victory! (Texas)

Stephens v. Bloomburg School District
Merry Stephens was an award-winning teacher and basketball coach in Bloomburg, Texas. Despite numerous teaching and coaching awards, in December 2004, the School Board initiated proceedings to terminate Coach Stephens. The school board president testified under oath that the board's decision to terminate Coach Stephens was based on the personal anti-gay animosity of several school board members.


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