Prior to filing the lawsuit in U.S. District court a pre-litigation settlement could not be reached.
"An employee should not be denied employment opportunities because he or she does not conform to the preferred or expected gender norms or roles of the employer or co-workers," Malcolm S. Medley, director for the EEOC's Miami District Office, said in a statement. "Protections must be afforded to such employees."
Lakeland Eye Clinic officials offered no immediate comment Thursday.
The lawsuits filed by the EEOC on Thursday come after a 2012 land mark decision by the EEOC where it ruled for the first time that discrimination against transgender employees is covered under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The ruling came after the commission sided with a woman in a complaint that she was denied work at a an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lab in northern California.
In the suit -- Mia Macy v. U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder -- it was determined that the ATF was in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 title VII that offers protections from sexual discrimination.