University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Broussard v. First Tower Loan, LLC EE-LA-0118
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-01161 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
This is a civil law suit filed a woman who identifies as a transgender man. The plaintiff alleged that he had been discrimination on the basis of his sex in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by First Tower Loans. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff filed the action in ... read more >
This is a civil law suit filed a woman who identifies as a transgender man. The plaintiff alleged that he had been discrimination on the basis of his sex in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by First Tower Loans. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff filed the action in Eastern District of Louisiana on April 13th, 2015.

In February 2013, plaintiff started to work at Tower Loan as a Manager Trainee in its Lake Charles, Louisiana branch. At the time that Tower Loan made that job offer, Mr. Broussard’s gender, gender identity, and gender expression were male. Shortly after that, Mr. Broussard’s supervisor at the Lake Charles branch Leah Sparks reviewed his employment paperwork and noticed that his driver’s license listed his sex as female. Ms. Sparks asked Mr. Broussard to explain and Mr. Broussard responded that he is a transgender man.

Less than a week later, Tower Loan Vice President David Morgan traveled to Lake Charles to meet with Mr. Broussard and his supervisor. Mr. Morgan informed Mr. Broussard that he could continue working at Tower Loan only if Mr. Broussard signed a written statement agreeing to act and be treated as female rather than as male while working for Tower Loan, including by dressing as female. Mr. Broussard did not agree, and was terminated from his position at Tower Loan.

Plaintiff claimed that such a termination based on the plaintiff's inability to conform to Tower Loan’s expectations of gender and its requirements that he should agree to be treated as female, violates Title VII’s prohibition on employment discrimination.

On August 27, 2013, Mr. Broussard’s counsel at the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Delaney & Robb Attorneys at Law LLC filed a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” ), alleging that Mr. Broussard’s termination from Tower Loan constituted unlawful discrimination on the basis of his sex, change of sex, sex stereotypes, and gender identity, in violation of Title VII and the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law. On December 2, 2014, the EEOC issued its determination and concluded that the evidence supports a reasonable cause finding that the plaintiff was subjected to discrimination based on sex, transgender male.

The plaintiff requested the court to grant declaratory judgment, permanent injunction, back/front pay and other compensatory and punitive damages. On Sep 1st, 2015, EEOC filed a motion to intervene the case and the court later granted the motion. On Sep 2, 2015, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case based on improper venue, which the court later denied.

On Nov 5, 2015, the defendant filed a motion to compel arbitration and to stay proceedings. The defendant pointed out that the plaintiff signed the employment agreement, which included the arbitration provision. The court agreed with the defendant that the enforcement of the arbitration provision did not violate plaintiff's Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury, citing the standard stated by the Fifth Circuit that “in enacting the Federal Arbitration Act, Congress declared a national policy in favor of arbitration.” Therefore, the court granted the motion to compel the arbitration and to stay proceedings.

On Sep 9th 2016, in response to EEOC's motion to stay its claim, the court ordered that EEOC's claims are stayed pending completion of the arbitration between Tristan Broussard and First Tower Loan, within six months from the date of this order, unless good cause be shown for an extension.

This case is ongoing.

Sihang Zhang - 01/08/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
EEOC-centric
EEOC intervened in private suit
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Race
White
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) First Tower Loan, LLC
Plaintiff Description An individual who claims that he was terminated when his employer learned that he is a transgender man.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Smith Barney Gender Discrimination
https://www.lieffcabraser.com/employment/smith-barney/
Date: August 2008
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Date: Mar. 1, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
Date: Apr. 1, 2001
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:15−cv−01161−CJB−SS (E.D. La.)
EE-LA-0118-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint of Sex Discrimination in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [ECF# 1]
EE-LA-0118-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order & Reasons [ECF# 113] (150 F.Supp.3d 709) (E.D. La.)
EE-LA-0118-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/10/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Barbier, Carl J. (E.D. La.)
EE-LA-0118-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chisholm, Barbara J. (California)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Delaney, Ryan P. (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Dinielli, David Carter (Alabama)
EE-LA-0118-0001
Finberg, James M. (California)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Gwin, Michael O'Mara (Mississippi)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Huffstetler, Scott Deloss (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Kilgore, Erin Lutkewitte (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-9000
McCoy, Scott D. (Alabama)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Milam, Kenneth E. (Mississippi)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Minter, Shannon (California)
EE-LA-0118-0001
Orr, Asaf (California)
EE-LA-0118-0001
Pitts, P. Casey (California)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Vermeulen, Zoe Wilde (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Whelan, Amy (California)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Whitaker, David M. (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Wolfe, Samuel (Alabama)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cockrell, Corrie Wynette (Mississippi)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Ezie, A. Chinyere (Alabama)
EE-LA-0118-0001 | EE-LA-0118-9000
Johnson, Elissa F (Mississippi)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Owens, Jody E. II (Mississippi)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Other Lawyers Juarez, Edward (Texas)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Juge, Gregory T. (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Navarre Davis, Alexandra V. (Louisiana)
EE-LA-0118-9000
Sacher, Jim (Texas)
EE-LA-0118-9000

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