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Transgender woman accuses resort of employment discrimination

Texas readers are likely familiar with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. It is a worldwide hotel chain, but it is currently facing claims of discrimination from one of its former employees. A transgender woman who worked for the resort in a Southeastern state claims that she was the victim of employment discrimination and mistreated after her gender change took place in 2005.

When the plaintiff was first hired in 1998, her gender was male. Eight years later, she officially changed her gender to female and alerted Starwood human resources. Once human resources had been alerted to her sex change, according to the plaintiff's claims, her work life became uncomfortable.

She had hoped that the company would maintain her privacy, but allegedly her supervisors still referred to her as a man in front of her co-workers and resort guests. Additionally, her work hours were reduced. Workers who were newly hired were apparently receiving more chances for work than what was afforded to her.

The plaintiff also alleges that she was not permitted to use the female restroom and was instead forced to use an individual bathroom that was difficult to reach. She filed an employment discrimination claim in federal court, accusing Starwood of discriminating against her because of her gender identity. Starwood contends that it is an avid supporter of the LGBT community and believes in a diverse workforce and a fair environment. It is illegal for employers in Texas or elsewhere to mistreat workers on the basis of any legally protected status. Aggrieved workers who successfully pursue their claims may be awarded monetary compensation and, in some instances, reinstatement to a former employment position.

Source: wftv.com, "Transgender woman files equal opportunity lawsuit against Starwood Resorts", July 10, 2015

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