Quarles & Brady LLP represented Rent-A-Center in a transgender discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Stephanie Quincy, chair of Quarles & Brady’s Labor & Employment Practice Group in Phoenix, served as lead counsel with Rent-A-Center Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel Andrew Trusevich.

Rent-A-Center, based in Plano, Texas, was alleged to have terminated an employee based on her transgender status, whereas the company argued the employee used a delivery vehicle for personal use. Originally filed in 2016, this was the EEOC’s first transgender discrimination case taken to trial.

On May 18, following a five day trial (the Honorable Eric I. Long presiding) a jury in the Central District of Illinois returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Rent-A-Center.  The jury found specifically that Megan Kerr’s transgender status was not a motivating factor in the decision to end her employment. 

“The EEOC goals are noble but facts matter. Facts in this case were clear and the jury agreed,” said Quincy. “The employee was fired because she took a Rent-A-Center vehicle for her own personal use.”

Read more in Law360: EEOC Loses Trial Over Rent-A-Center Firing Of Trans Worker