Aimee Stephens had worked for nearly six years as a funeral director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes when she informed the funeral home’s owner that she is a transgender woman. She was fired, the EEOC sued on her behalf, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Aimee’s employer engaged in unlawful sex discrimination when it fired her because she’s transgender. We represented Aimee Stephens in front of the U.S. Supreme Court — and won.
Aimee spent nearly 20 years over three decades working in funeral services, a career she discovered while studying to become a Baptist minister. She enjoyed knowing that she was helping people remember their loved ones at peace and received positive feedback from her employer and coworkers.
Aimee said that as early as age five, she knew she was a girl. In 2008, Aimee started seeing a therapist to discuss and explore her knowledge that she is a woman. By 2012, Aimee made the decision to tell her coworkers that she is a woman. Two weeks after she told her boss in 2013, she was fired. This caused Aimee and her wife Donna to suffer financially and left Aimee without health insurance when her kidney’s failed.
After Aimee was fired, the ACLU assisted Aimee with the filing of a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC sued the funeral home for sex discrimination and the ACLU has joined the case to ensure Aimee’s interests are protected as the case moves forward. In March of 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Aimee was unlawfully fired and that federal sex discrimination laws protect transgender people.
The Supreme Court was asked to consider whether it is sex discrimination under federal civil rights statutes to fire someone because the person is transgender, and on June 15, 2020, the court ruled it is illegal to fire someone for being LGBTQ.
Most Americans understand that it’s both wrong and unlawful to fire someone for being LGBTQ. No one should have to live in fear that they can be fired just because of who they are.
Supreme Court Rules Firing Someone for Being LGBTQ is IllegalJune 15, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's protections against sex discrimination in the workplace also apply to LGBTQ people.
Harris Funeral Homes Seeks Review from SCOTUSJuly 20, 2018
R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes petitions the US Supreme Court for review of the case.
Sixth Circuit Rules Aimee Was Unlawfully FiredMarch 7, 2018
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes unlawfully discriminated against Aimee Stephens when it fired her after she told her employer that she would begin presenting as a woman because she is transgender.
ACLU Granted Intervener StatusMarch 27, 2017
The ACLU asked to join Aimee’s interests are protected given the Trump administration’s hostility towards LGBTQ people.
The EEOC sues on behalf of Aimee StephensSeptember 25, 2014
After the ACLU assisted Aimee with a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOC sued the funeral home for sex discrimination in the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Follow The Case
United States Supreme Court
- 08/23/2018Amicus Briefs in Support of Petitioner
Appeals Court (6th Cir.)
- 04/26/2017Amicus Briefs in Support of Appellant and Intervenor
- 01/26/2017Motion to Intervene