Attorneys General Allege Federal Agency Overstepped Authority With Gender Legislation

A coalition of 18 state attorneys general sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Tuesday, accusing the federal agency of unlawfully redefining workplace protections regarding gender identity and pronouns.

The legal challenge led by Tennessee contends the EEOC’s new guidance extends discrimination prohibitions beyond congressional intent.

Under the guidance, employers could face liability for failing to use an employee’s preferred pronouns or restricting bathroom access based on biological sex rather than gender identity. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (R) called it “an attack on our constitutional separation of powers.” He argued unelected commissioners cannot unilaterally make such rules.

The suit aims to block the EEOC from enforcing its interpretations of Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibitions. Critics allege the agency improperly expanded workplace bias protections to cover gender identity issues without new legislation.