Former IFGE Board Member Wins VT Discrimination Case

Anthony Barreto-Neto won a landmark civil rights case in Vermont on April 22, 2004. The Vermont Attorney General ruled that the Town of Hardwicks dismissal of Mr Barreto-Neto was due to his identity as an transsexual, and that it was a violation of Vermont law banning discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. The Town of Hardwick settled the discrimination claim brought by the former officer for $90,000 and is required to enact a formal non-discrimination policy against transgender people, as well as conduct trainings for employees regarding transgender issues.
Anthony Barreto-Neto is a career law enforcement officer and long time transgender advocate who has served on IFGE's Board of Directors, and was a founder of "TOPS" (Transgender Officers Protect and Serve). TOPS is an advocacy organization which offers support to transgender individuals in law -enforcement careers. His case was represented by Beth Robinson of Langrock, Sperry & Wool in Middlebury and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, a New England-wide public interest legal organization.

After serving for many years as an officer in Florida, Anthony Barreto-Neto relocated to a quiet town in northern Vermont to focus more on his family. The Town of Hardwick's blatant discrimination against him pushed him back into the role of transgender advocate, despite his desire for a quiet life.

?As a career police officer, I?m deeply committed to law enforcement and just want to be able to do my job. I filed this case because I knew that transgender people like myself face discrimination in many aspects of our lives due to irrational fears and prejudices of others. I hope this decision means that employers create a better understanding of transgender people in their workplaces.?, said Barreto-Neto.