- Associated Press - Saturday, June 6, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges a Minnesota company subjected a transgender employee to sex discrimination.

The lawsuit was filed Friday against Shoreview-based Deluxe Financial Services Corp. According to the EEOC, after longtime employee Britney Austin began to present as a woman in the company’s Phoenix office and informed her supervisors that she was transgender, the company refused to let her use the women’s restroom.

The suit accuses Austin’s supervisors and co-workers of causing a hostile work environment, including using hurtful epithets and intentionally using the wrong gender pronouns.

The EEOC accuses the company of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, including that based on transgender status.

The EEOC said officials there first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In a statement Saturday, the company wrote that the EEOC claims lack merit and they planned to defend their policies and practices, which align with federal and state standards.

“Deluxe Corporation takes the safety, security and dignity of all our employees very seriously,” the statement read.

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The story has been corrected to show the company location is Shoreview, instead of Shorewood

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