Settlement reached in transgender woman’s restroom discrimination complaint

Johnson County courthouse in Iowa City.

Johnson County courthouse in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Johnson County, Iowa, and its sheriff’s department have reached a settlement with a transgender woman over the courthouse’s restroom policy.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the settlement with 56-year-old Jodie Jones, of Iowa City, means deputies will receive new training on civil rights matters and the county will clarify its policy on public restroom use.

Johnson County courthouse in Iowa City.

Jones filed a complaint after she was denied access by a female deputy in November 2011 to use a women’s restroom at the Johnson County Courthouse.

An administrative law judge later ruled that there was probable cause supporting Jones’ claims of discrimination on the basis of gender identity, sex and sexual orientation in a public accommodation.

Under the settlement, the county’s Board of Supervisors will pass a motion reaffirming its policy that people are permitted access to restrooms in county buildings based on their gender identity, and regardless of their gender at birth.

In addition, the Johnson County Attorney’s Office will provide 30 minutes of in-person training to deputies assigned to work at the courthouse.

And by February 2014, all deputies will receive two hours of training on civil rights and public accommodations with specific emphasis on gender identification and sexual orientation issues. That training will also be made available to officers from the municipal police department annually.

Under Iowa law, it is discriminatory to deny a person such a use based on their gender identity.

Jones will receive $7,000 under the settlement and waives her right to sue the county over the matter.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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