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Job offered, then rescinded when employer learns candidate is transgender

Izza Lopez, a 26-year-old transgender woman from Houston applied for a position with River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic, a medical imaging company. Little did she know that, after interviewing, a background check, a drug test — and receiving a start date — that all hell would break loose. Lambda Legal is on the case.

Lopez gave notice to her then-current employer the following day and planned to start working at River Oaks the week of October 24. On October 10, however, Lopez received a phone call from River Oaks’ human resources director and one of its employment recruiters saying that River Oaks was rescinding its offer of employment because of her “misrepresentation” of herself as a woman.

Lambda Legal filed Lopez v. River Oaks in the Southern District of Texas in the Fifth Circuit of the federal court system. The lawsuit charges that River Oaks violated Lopez’s rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment.

“As an applicant, I was interviewed by a manager and a director who both felt I was qualified to do the job,” said Lopez. “I was shocked when I received the call from human resources taking away the job they’d offered me — it felt as if they’d said to me ‘you’re a monster; we don’t want you here.’”

How on earth does Lopez’s gender presentation affect her ability to do this job?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding