Wrongfully Fired Professor Set to Return to Oklahoma Court and Proceed With Groundbreaking Lawsuit Against Public University


March 3, 2017

Wrongfully Fired Professor Set to Return to Oklahoma Court and Proceed With Groundbreaking Lawsuit Against Public University

New York, New York— An English Professor who was fired from from her teaching position on the basis of her sex will have her day in court in Oklahoma. Dr. Rachel Tudor was denied tenure and terminated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma in 2011 after she began living as a woman. An Oklahoma jury had been slated to hear her employment discrimination case in November, 2016. But a federal judge in Texas issued an order in August 2016 halting Tudor’s efforts through a nationwide injunction that stopped some federal courts from working on transgender sex discrimination cases.

The injunction sprang from a lawsuit brought by Texas, Oklahoma and eleven other states that sued the Obama administration over its transgender student guidance. Today they dropped that lawsuit. This paves the way for Dr. Tudor’s case to proceed.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Tudor will finally have the chance to bring her case before an Oklahoma jury. She deserves her day in court to challenge the sex discrimination she endured at Southeastern Oklahoma State University,” said TLDEF Director of Impact Litigation Ezra Young. “We have fought for Dr. Tudor in Oklahoma, in a Texas Federal district court and at the Fifth Circuit. Now we can finally bring her case back to Oklahoma where it belongs.”

“I am so relieved that my case can move forward in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Tudor. “My ultimate goal is to get my job back at Southeastern so I can continue to make a positive difference in the lives of my students. And I want to rejoin my colleagues who respect my contributions to academia. All women should have the same opportunity to work, earn a living and provide for themselves and their loved ones. I’m fighting for women to have our place in the workforce and make our institutions better.”

Dr. Tudor holds a doctorate in English from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma’s flagship university.