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The long arm of the law stretches across state lines

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A case of alleged transgender discrimination in Texas has prompted New York’s attorney general to launch an investigation into the HR practices of the entire Saks Fifth Avenue retail chain.

It all started when a Saks employee in Houston began making the transition from male to female. When managers insisted that she wear men’s clothing, she filed an EEOC complaint—and was shortly fired. Saks lawyers responded that discrimination based on gender identity is not illegal under Texas law.

That was all the attorney general in New York needed to hear. He has ordered Saks to turn over copies of all documents related to enforcement of the company’s anti-discrimination policies. Saks is headquartered in New York City, where gender-identity bias is illegal. Lesson: Know the law in every state where your organization operates.

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