A jury on Wednesday awarded a transgender man $120,000 in a discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Jesse Vroegh, 37, worked as a nurse for about seven years at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.

Jurors found that the state discriminated against Vroegh, denying him use of the men's restroom and locker room at work as well as denying him insurance coverage for medically necessary surgery.

“The whole process has been difficult and emotionally very trying for me,” said Vroegh. “My life has been put under a microscope because of this case. But I thought it was an important thing to do for the transgender Iowans who come after me. I hope this decision means that we will be treated fairly in the future.”

Vroegh was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa.

“Transgender Iowans deserve the same dignity, respect, and access to health care and gender-appropriate restroom and locker room facilities as any other person,” said John Knight, an attorney with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. “For many years, the law in Iowa has said that employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, and it has also barred gender identity discrimination since 2007. The state should have been a model for other employers in its treatment of transgender workers. Instead, it blatantly discriminated against Jesse Vroegh. The jury in this case obviously saw that what the state did was wrong and should never happen again.”

Vroegh, who said that he has identified as male since he was 7, informed his employer that he was transitioning in 2014. He was told to use a unisex facility which did not include a shower. Vroegh no longer works for the state.

The ACLU said that the case was “the first transgender rights case to be filed in Iowa district court since Iowa added gender identity protections to the Iowa Civil Rights Act in 2007.”