The Cole County Circuit found that MCHR was wrong in closing the sex-based discrimination charge that Meghan Fenner, a trans woman, filed against her employer.
In September of 2007, Meghan Fenner was terminated without stated cause from her employment as a truck driver for Western Dairy Transport after male drivers refused to train her due to her transgender identity. Following her termination, Fenner submitted a charge of sex-based discrimination to the MCHR. The charge was initially dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction, as the Missouri Human Rights Act does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The ACLU of Missouri contested the closing of the discrimination charge, on the basis that an individual's gender identity is separate from an individual's sexual orientation. Because Fenner's employer's terminated her due to her transgender identity, rather than her sexual orientation, the termination could be considered discriminatory based on sex. Sex discrimination is covered by the Missouri Human Rights Act, and therefore the Missouri Commision on Human Rights had the jurisdiction to accept Meghan Fenner's charge.
The Circuit Court of Cole County found in favor of the ACLU of Missouri's case and remanded the charge to the MCHR be reopened.