URBANA, Ill. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken action against Rent-A-Center, a company
that owns and operates more than 3,000 stores nationwide offering products in
rent-to-own agreements, suing the company for alleged discrimination against a
Julianne Bowman, the EEOC’s district director in Chicago, alleged Rent-A-Center disapproved of an employee’s gender transition and
thus found a pretext for firing her. Alleged conduct of this nature violates
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans employers from
discriminating on the basis of sex. This includes discrimination against
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
"All people deserve the opportunity to earn a living
and be judged on the quality of their work, rather than on sex-based
considerations,” said John Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago. "That includes transgender employees, and the EEOC is committed to
making sure such individuals' rights under Title VII are protected."
EEOC filed its case in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of Illinois, Urbana Division. Trial attorney Justin Mulaire will
handle the case, supervised by EEOC supervisory trial attorney Gregory