McCreery v. Don’s Valley Market
Cori McCreery, 29, was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota and worked as a store clerk for the owner of Don’s Valley Market, a local grocery chain, on and off for a total of five years at two separate businesses. Supported by family and friends, McCreery notified her employer that she would be transitioning while at work. After initial assurance about her job security, she was swiftly fired, the owner saying that she was "making other employees uncomfortable" and that he had a "$7 million investment to protect." After McCreery’s call to Lambda Legal’s Help Desk, Lambda Legal filed a complaint in March 2012 on her behalf with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that her termination constitutes illegal sex-based discrimination under Title VII, the section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in the workplace.
- August 2011 Cori McCreery notifies her employer at Don’s Valley Market that she would be transitioning at work. Despite initial reassurance that it would not be a problem, Cori was soon fired.
- December 2011 The Eleventh Circuit rules in Lambda Legal’s case Glenn v. Brumby in favor of Vandy Beth Glenn, a legislative editor who was fired from her job with the Georgia General Assembly office after announcing her intent to transition from male to female at work.
- March 2012 Lambda Legal files a complaint on Cori’s behalf with the EEOC, claiming wrongful termination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- April 2012 The EEOC issues the historic Macy v. Holder decision that clarified that Title VII protects transgender employees from discrimination on the basis of sex either on the theory of illegal sex stereotyping or on the theory that discrimination based on a transition from one gender to another is discrimination “because of sex.”
- September 2012 The EEOC issues letter of determination in Cori’s case, stating there is a reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred.
- September 2013 Victory! The EEOC announces a landmark settlement in favor of Cori McCreery, including $50,000, the maximum statutory amount for a business with under 100 employees, plus public notice on the EEOC website, public notice on the workplace bulletin board, a mandatory policy in the workplace on workplace protections, a yearly three-hour all-staff mandatory training on workplace protections, and a letter of apology and letter of recommendation for Cori.
Christopher Clark, M. Dru Levasseur