Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Transgendered Fire Chief

The US Supreme Court has refused to consider the appeal of a transgendered fire chief from Georgia, leaving in place a ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the city. Fire Chief Rachel Mosby was fired by the City of Byron shortly after she revealed that despite being born a male she identified as a female.

Chief Mosby filed suit in US District Court for the Middle District of Georgia claiming gender discrimination, disability discrimination, and violation of her due process rights. The suit claimed that when she identified as a male, she was a successful fire chief bring the department from an ISO Class 7 to Class 4 in four years. That changed when she began presenting “entirely as female” in January 2018. Here is more on the original allegations.

Both the trial court and the 11th Circuit dismissed Chief Mosby’s discrimination claims concluding she failed to follow the proper filing procedures with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her due process claims were dismissed because as fire chief, she was an at will employee who lacked a property interest in her continued employment. As such she was not entitled to a due process hearing before being terminated.

Here is a copy of the US Supreme Court’s 9-0 denial of her Writ of Certiorari, commonly referred to as cert denied.

Here is a copy of the 11th Circuit’s ruling from April of this year.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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