Texas Federal Judge Throws Out Sex and Gender Discrimination Claim Against Well Fargo.

Case Name: Ryan v. Wells Fargo Bank NA 

Court: United States District Court – Northern District of Texas 

Date of Opinion: January 22nd, 2022 

Judge: Sidney A. Fitzwater 

Overview: Transgender male filed a sex and gender discriimination claim, but the court ruled that his charges to the EEOC were untimely. 

Background: This case involves a claim of sex and gender discrimination claim against Wells Fargo Bank.  The plaintiff, Lee Ryan, sued his former employer, alleging that he was fired because he is a trandgender male.  Ryan claims that his direct supervisor, Richard Whitson, was openly hostile towards him and refused to adequately train him. In September 2018, Ryan sought the assistance of Dominique Hudson, who had the same position as Whitson, but was not his direct supervisor.  Hudson did not assist Ryan and addressed Ryan as “ma’am”, even though Ryan requested that he be referred to as mister.  Ryan was terminated on October 11th, 2018.  

On October 21th, 2018, Ryan filed suit against Wells Fargo alleging sex discrimination under Title VII and for violations under the Texas Labor Code.  Wells Fargo filed a motion to dismiss the Texas Labor Code claim.   

 Wells Fargo alleges that Ryan did not allege that he filed a complaint with the EEOC or the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) with 180 days of the date that the alleged discrimination occurred.  Ryan responded that he filed a complaint with the EEOC within Title VII’s 300-day limitations period. The court notes that it must dismiss Ryan’s TCHRA claim if he did not plausibly allege that he has exhausted his administrative remedies.  

The court decided that Ryan did not succeed in plausibly alleging that he had exhausted his administrative remedies under the Texas Labor Code.  The court says that Ryan’s intake questionnaire sent to the EEOC was untimely. In addition, the court ruled that even if Ryan’s charge was filed with the EEOC within the 300 day filing period, the Worksharing Agreement between Texas and the EEOC does not change the 180 day filing requirement with the EEOC. 

Conclusion:  Wells Fargo’s motion to dismiss is granted.

Steven M. Cohen
Law Librarian | + posts

Steven M. Cohen is a law librarian at a midsize law firm in New York City.  He was the creator of Library Stuff, one of the first library blogs, which lasted over 15 years.  He obtained his MLS from Queens College in 2002.  His passions include legal research, reading novels, and rooting on his favorite sports teams.