Eighteen states filed a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over new Title VII regulations that endanger women, free speech and religious freedom in the workplace.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti led the coalition pushing back against the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace. The new rule redefines “sex discrimination” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In a press statement, Skrmetti stated that the agency had essentially created new laws, usurping the constitutional power of Congress:

In America, the Constitution gives the power to make laws to the people’s elected representatives, not to unaccountable commissioners, and this EEOC guidance is an attack on our constitutional separation of powers.

When Congress passed Title VII, “sex discrimination” was included to give women equal opportunities in employment. And, of course, “sex” referred to being male or female.

But the redefinition effectively erases male-female distinctions in favor of the modern, unscientific constructs of “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.” Unlike the reality of human maleness or femaleness, these are false identities based on a person’s subjective, internal feelings, thoughts and desires.

The Enforcement Guidance also redefines sex to include “Pregnancy, Childbirth, or Related Medical Conditions,” a deceptive phrase used by government agencies to include abortion and contraception.

The regulations attack women’s safety and privacy by forcing employers to allow any employees to use whatever bathroom, locker room and shower they choose.

The new rule erases  free speech and religious freedom by saying that “sex discrimination” includes “repeated and intentional use of a name or pronoun inconsistent with the individual’s known gender identity (misgendering).”

Employees and employers are both required to agree with an individual’s self-chosen “sexual identity,” rather than the objective reality of their God-given biological maleness or femaleness.

The EEOC released its Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace on April 29, 2024, as the Daily Citizen previously reported.

Just two weeks later, state attorneys general are fighting back.

The lawsuit explains that the EEOC mandate relies heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which the attorneys general describe as “a narrow decision,” adding:

The Court held only that terminating an employee “simply for being homosexual or transgender” constitutes discrimination “because of . . . sex” under Title VII. …

The Court expressly declined to “prejudge” issues like “bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes” under Title VII’s anti-discrimination provision.

The complaint also explains why every federal agency is disregarding the Court’s direct statement about the limits of Bostock to redefine “sex” in a wide variety of non-discrimination laws, from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Department of Education, and from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The suit to block the EEOC says:

Ignoring the Court’s express limitations on Bostock’s scope, President Biden declared on his first day in office that Bostock’s analysis had changed the meaning of all federal law regarding sex discrimination.

The White House “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation” mandated that each federal agency go far beyond the Bostock decision to “enforce prohibitions on sex discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Skrmetti explained why it was important for states to push back against this huge power grab by federal agencies:

When, as here, a federal agency engages in government over the people instead of government by the people, it undermines the legitimacy of our laws and alienates Americans from our legal system.

This end-run around our constitutional institutions misuses federal power to eliminate women’s private spaces and punish the use of biologically-accurate pronouns, all at the expense of Tennessee employers.

Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia have joined Tennessee in the Title VII lawsuit to protect free speech, religious freedom, and privacy and safety in sex-segregated spaces.

The case is Tennessee et al v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission et al

Related articles and resources:

Biden Becomes Nation’s Most Powerful Trans Activist With Executive Order

Christian Employers Alliance Wins Victory Against EEOC and HHS Transgender Mandate

EEOC Chair Accused of ‘Sleight of Hand’ in Unilaterally Issuing Misleading Gender Guidelines for Employers

EEOC Proposes to Make Abortion and ‘Misgendering’ Workplace Harassment Claims

EEOC Releases Major Guidance Ending Many Workplace Protections for Women