(ETH) – Hobby Lobby was ordered to pay $220,000 to a transgender employee who had been barred from using the women’s bathroom as she requested. According to a report from TheBlaze, The crafts supply company tried to accommodate Meggan Sommerville’s requests when she transitioned a decade after being hired in 1998 but the company drew the line at her choice of bathrooms.

“Hobby Lobby changed Sommerville’s personnel records and benefits information to reflect her female identity,” wrote Illinois Second District Appellate Court Justice Mary Seminara-Schostok. “However, Hobby Lobby refused to allow Sommerville to use the women’s bathroom at the store,” Sommerville claimed that the company’s transgender rules caused her emotional toil that manifested in physical illness.

According to Law and Crime, In 2011, Hobby Lobby issued a written warning to Sommerville for entering the women’s restroom. Sommerville testified that she “broke down crying” and was “emotionally devastated” by the reprimand. She initiated her complaint to the Illinois Human Rights Commission some two years later, starting a process that would ultimately produce watershed precedent in her state.


“Hobby Lobby’s bathroom ban gave Sommerville recurrent nightmares about bathrooms, being approached by men, and being physically assaulted and laughed at by them,” the court’s summary of the undisputed evidence states. “She also developed physical symptoms including headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, gastric problems, and dehydration due to restricting her fluid intake.”

The group’s staff attorney Kara Ingelhart called the ruling a “win for all transgender people in Illinois,” lauding the court for having “methodically destroyed every justification Hobby Lobby tried to argue for why it had discriminated against Ms. Sommerville for years.”

“The court could not have been clearer that the Illinois Human Rights Act and numerous other Illinois and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees based on gender identity, including by excluding them from the restroom,” Ingelhart wrote in a statement. “The Illinois Commission on Human Rights got it right years ago when it ruled for Ms. Sommerville, and it’s past time for Hobby Lobby to do the right thing, and treat their transgender employees with dignity and respect.”


  • End Time Headlines

    End Time Headlines is a Ministry that provides News and Headlines from a "Prophetic Perspective" as well as weekly podcasts to inform and equip believers of the Signs and Seasons that we are living in today.

    View all posts