The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an edict claiming that Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, with no exceptions for anyone. The EEOC had been using this edict to sue Christian-owned businesses that didn’t conform to the edict, which compelled employers to “allow employees into restrooms that correspond to the employees’ gender identity, no matter the individual’s biological sex, whether the individual has had a sex-change operation, or whether other employees have raised objections or privacy concerns.”
AFL represented clients in a class-action lawsuit against the EEOC.
The District Court ruled in AFL’s clients’ favor, finding, among other things, that “employers may have policies that promote privacy, such as requiring the use of separate bathrooms based on biological sex.”
On appeal, the Fifth Circuit also ruled for AFL’s client, holding that it has pre-enforcement standing to sue and that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prevents the EEOC from enforcing its so-called guidance documents against Christian employers. According to the court: “On the merits, and as we explain, we decide that [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] requires that Braidwood, on an individual level, be exempted from Title VII because compliance with Title VII post-Bostock would substantially burden its ability to operate per its religious beliefs about homosexual and transgender conduct. Moreover, the EEOC fails to carry its burden to show that it has a compelling interest in refusing Braidwood an exemption, even post-Bostock.”