What are your rights as a transgender employee in California?
Meghan Frederick, a 53-year-old correctional officer at a Sacramento prison, recently filed a lawsuit against her employer. She has accused the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of discrimination due to her gender identity.
Frederick notified her bosses at California State Prison, Sacramento, of her transition five years ago. Since then, she claims to have been the subject of various forms of discrimination: name-calling, harassment, misgendering and more. She claims the complaints she has filed have led nowhere. After five years subjected to this discrimination, she has resorted to a lawsuit.
She seeks to make her workplace better for trans employees as well as other minority groups.
And it is not just a matter of rudeness, she says. She says her life is in danger. Her lawsuit alleges that her bosses have prevented her from knowing about death threats she has received from inmates. Her workplace is a maximum-security prison with no shortage of violent inmates. Additionally, her car has been vandalized in her work parking lot several times.
Your Rights as a Transgender Worker
The number of transgender people in the United States was estimated at 1.4 million in 2016. In California, almost 1 percent of people identify as transgender. Transgender people face disturbing patterns of mistreatment and discrimination. Among transgender respondents to a December 2016 survey, the unemployment rate was three times the national average. One in six reported losing a job because of their gender identity or expression. Over three-quarters reported taking steps to avoid mistreatment in the workplace.
Starting in 2004, California law made it illegal for employers with five or more employees to fire, fail to hire or discriminate against employees who were perceived to be transgender or non-gender conforming. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination in the workplace due to your gender identity or perceived gender identity, the law is on your side. Contact our law firm and we will work with you to right the wrongs you have suffered.