The transgender woman at the heart of a historic lawsuit says she is suing for accountability and to restore a part of her life.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee has filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the Lakeland Eye Clinic on behalf of Brandi Branson.
Branson was working as the director of hearing services at the clinic when she started transitioning from male to female.
"After I told them about my gender transition, they stopped talking to me, they stopped sending me work. I would get the snickers and rolled eyes," said Branson.
Branson was eventually fired and told her position was being eliminated but the lawsuit claims two months later someone was hired to replace her. The EEOC is suing for money and for Branson to get her job back.
"The emotional impact is deep because I was a veteran doing what I did," said Branson. "Had a good reputation, worked at this for over 30 years and suddenly I was found to be useless and somehow derelict in my duties for having transitioned."
Lakeland Eye Clinic is declining to comment on the case.
The EEOC also just filed a lawsuit against a Detroit funeral home for discharging a funeral director who was transitioning from male to female.