A transgender woman in California filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Wells Fargo on July 14. According to the plaintiff, the bank fired her from its customer call center in El Monte because of her decision to transition from male to female. The plaintiff also alleges that she endured rude comments from her supervisors and coworkers before she was wrongfully discharged.
The plaintiff began working for Wells Fargo in August 2010 when she was still presenting herself as a man. In December 2010, she started to take hormones and testosterone blockers and wear women’s clothing. About five months later, her boss told her that what she was doing was an ‘affront to God” and she would go to hell for it.
Although the plaintiff was allowed to transfer to a new department, she claims that she was subjected to harassment by coworkers in the new department. Her coworkers refused to address her by her new name, took exception to her using the women’s restroom and nicknamed her ‘The Mask.” Eventually, the plaintiff told a human resources representative that the hostile work environment was making her feel suicidal. Nothing was done to improve the conditions at the plaintiff’s workplace, and she was fired in August 2014 without explanation.
Just as employees cannot be discriminated against for their gender, employees cannot be discriminated against for their gender identity. A transgender person who has suffered from discrimination in the workplace may want to consult with an employment law attorney about the feasibility of filing a claim with the appropriate state or federal agency seeking back wages and other damages.
Source: My News LA, “Was ‘he’ fired for becoming a ‘she?’ Wells Fargo sued,” Hillary Jackson, July 14, 2015