Wells Fargo has recently settled a lawsuit involving allegations of discrimination and wrongful termination against a transgender worker. The lawsuit’s allegations are similar to other cases involving transgender workers, some of whom face an overwhelming amount of hostility from supervisors and coworkers.
For example, we recently wrote a blog discussing the lawsuit against Valve, which also involved the alleged harassment of a transgender worker.
According to the lawsuit against Wells Fargo, the worker in question had recently transitioned from male to female. During the period where she was taking testosterone blockers and wearing women’s clothing, supervisors and coworkers allegedly made demeaning comments. The woman claimed a supervisor called her decision an “affront to God” and told her she was going to “go to Hell”. Other allegations suggest supervisors became more critical of her work.
After allegedly facing abuse from management, she decided to move to a department handling customer service for Spanish-speaking accountholders. Unfortunately, her situation only got worse. Coworkers allegedly began calling her “The Mask” and referring to her as a man. She was also allegedly reprimanded by another coworker for using the women’s restroom.
Are these situations common for transgender workers? If so, what legal options are available for transgender workers facing workplace discrimination?
Do Transgender Workers Have Legal Options Against Discrimination?
Data collected by the Human Rights Campaign suggests transgender workplace discrimination is nothing new. According to the Human Rights Campaign, six different studies conducted between 1996 and 2006 suggest 20 to 57 percent of transgender workers have experienced workplace discrimination.
Fortunately, transgender workers do have legal options when confronted with discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) considers discrimination against transgender workers as a form of sex discrimination. In addition, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act offers legal protections for transgender workers facing discrimination. Transgender workers experiencing discrimination should contact an employment attorney to discuss legal options.
The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob can help transgender workers facing workplace discrimination.