[JURIST] The Colorado Division of Civil Rights (CCRD) [official website] has ruled [opinion, PDF] that an employer violated the state's anti-discrimination laws when it fired an employee who was preparing to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Intermountain Testing [corporate website] claimed David Cornwell, now known as Danielle Cornwell, was let go because of a decline in business and a low performance rating. Cornwell, who had worked at Intermountain for 15 years had recently informed her employer that she was a transsexual. CCRD Director Wendell Pryor held that Intermountain's stated reasons were pretextual, and found discrimination because no other employees doing similar work were fired.
The Legal Initiatives Project (CLIP) of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Center of Colorado [official website] on Thursday praised the ruling [press release, PDF], which is the first of its kind in Colorado, as progress for transgendered people. CLIP Legal Director John Hummel said, "We are delighted that CCRD has recognized that transgender employees are entitled to protection under the sex discrimination laws as all other men and women. This ruling follows in the footsteps of similar rulings from other states, and demonstrates Colorado's clear understanding that discrimination against transgender people is intolerable." AP has more.