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Eighteen states filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Monday, saying it is illegally enforcing pro-transgender rules on companies and their employees.

Attorneys general from 18 states, led by Tennessee, filed a lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Justice, arguing that the government is seeking “to enshrine sweeping gender-identity mandates without congressional consent.”

The lawsuit laments the EEOC’s “Enforcement Document” declaring that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act “requires all covered employers and employees to use others’ preferred pronouns; allow transgender individuals to use the shower, locker room, or restroom that corresponds to their gender identity; and refrain from requiring employees to adhere to the dress code that corresponds to their biological sex.”

In addition to Tennessee, the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“In America, the Constitution gives the power to make laws to the people’s elected representatives, not to unaccountable commissioners, and this EEOC guidance is an attack on our constitutional separation of powers,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said.

“When, as here, a federal agency engages in government over the people instead of government by the people, it undermines the legitimacy of our laws and alienates Americans from our legal system,” Skrmetti continued.

The Tennessee attorney general added, “This end-run around our constitutional institutions misuses federal power to eliminate women’s private spaces and punish the use of biologically-accurate pronouns, all at the expense of Tennessee employers.”

The EEOC issued new harassment-related guidelines that extended Title VII’s protections against sex-based discrimination to include gender identity.

Under the federal agency’s new rules, an employer may be liable under if they, other employees, or even customers, use a name or pronoun that a transgender individual disagrees with.

The EEOC’s new guidance can also make an employer liable if they limit access to a restroom or other sex-segregated facilities for individuals who claim to be the opposite biological sex.

Notably, the agency’s guidelines cite a 2020 Supreme Court ruling, Bostock v. Clayton County.

But the 18 states argue that the Supreme Court did not intend for employers to be forced to obey rules regarding workers’ gender identity and sexual orientation.

“EEOC relies heavily on the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. 644 (2020), to prescribe broad swaths of employer conduct. But Bostock was a narrow decision,” the lawsuit states.

“The Court held only that terminating an employee ‘simply for being homosexual or transgender’ constitutes discrimination ‘because of . . . sex’ under Title VII. Bostock,” the suit adds. “The Court expressly declined to ‘prejudge’ issues like ‘bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes’ under Title VII’s anti-discrimination provision.”

The lawsuit affirms that “neither Title VII, nor Bostock, nor any other federal precedent gives EEOC license to impose a gender-identity accommodation mandate, which flunks major-question scrutiny and raises constitutional concerns.”

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