Cases & Advocacy

Dovel v. Public Library of Cincinatti & Hamilton County

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: Ohio

Jurisdiction + Case Number: S.D. Ohio, Case No. 1:16-cv-955

NCLR, along with Gerhardstein & Branch and the Law Office of Scott Knox, represented Rachel Dovel in a lawsuit against her employer, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, for denying her access to medically necessary transition-related care.

Ms. Dovel argued that the ban on sex affirming surgery discriminated against her based on sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and also violated the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. The ban also violates the consensus of the medical community that transition-related care is safe, effective, and sometimes life-saving. Ms. Dovel was forced to take out a personal loan to pay for her medically necessary care even though the plan provided coverage to non-transgender employees seeking the same or substantially similar care.

In May of 2017, NCLR and co-counsel reached a settlement with the Defendants to provide insurance coverage to Ms. Dovel. The settlement agreement also mandates that the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will continue to expand the Library’s efforts to build an inclusive and trans positive environment, including by expanding materials on LGBTQ issues.