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Transgender worker files workplace discrimination suit

The transgender community is becoming more prevalent and not all people are receptive to its members in the workplace. Whether Texas employees agree with other people's choices, they still have no right to subject them to hostile work environments. To help protect the transgender community, a non-discrimination ordinance was put in place in September 2013 in San Antonio. A former worker for AT&T was the first one to test the ordinance, which apparently failed to protect him from workplace discrimination.

The plaintiff claims that he overheard two employees making comments about transgender people and recorded them. In the recording, the men discuss transgender people and how they find them offensive. They also said that if a transgender man were to be found using the men's bathroom, they would beat him up. The plaintiff took his concerns about the conversation to his superior who then reported it to management.

The manager allegedly revealed to one of the men in the recording that the plaintiff was transgender. Fearing for his safety, the plaintiff told human resources about what had occurred. After he reported the incident, he found a sign on his chair that was reportedly anti-gay in nature, which he turned in to this supervisors. They later claimed to have lost the sign. The man claims that he requested to be reassigned but was terminated a week later.

The company contends that an investigation was conducted, but the two people who were accused denied the allegations. AT&T also did not believe that the recording the plaintiff had was admissible because it was made without the knowledge of the speakers. After 15 months, the workplace discrimination claim was settled for an amount that was not disclosed. According to the Texas plaintiff's lawyer, while he applauds that the ordinance was put in place, he asserts that it does not protect contract workers and will definitely be in need of some fine tuning in order to be more effective in the future.

Source: advocate.com, "Texas Trans Man Settles Hard-Fought AT&T Discrimination Case", Mitch Kellaway, April 8, 2015

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