The Minnesota Court of Appeals reinstated a transgender man’s discrimination lawsuit Tuesday alleging that employees at Starbucks coffee shops in Eden Prairie and Edina refused to serve him.
Earlier this year, Hennepin County District Court threw out the complaint because the plaintiff, Paul Bray, 43, didn’t prove the discrimination was based on his transgender status. The district court also ruled that Bray’s right to sue over allegations from July 2013 had expired under the one-year statute of limitations established by the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA).
A three-judge panel of the appeals court found that the court record reasonably supports a conclusion that Starbucks treated Bray more harshly than other customers. Judge Michelle Larkin wrote that the panel was reversing the lower court’s ruling “because there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Starbucks discriminated against Bray because he was transgender.”