A transgender man has filed a lawsuit against his former employer, claiming he was fired based on gender discrimination in what may be the first case in the U.S. where a transgender person has claimed discrimination in the workplace based on birth gender. A recent piece in Forbes discusses the case and the complicated issues for employers the case will broach.
The case involves a transgender man who was hired by a drug treatment center. His job was only open to men because it involved watching men urinate (to ensure they were not cheating on drug tests.) He underwent training after being hired, but on his first day, his manager questioned him about his sex. When the former employee told his manager that he was a man, the manager asked him whether he had had surgery to make him one. The transgender man refused to answer that question, and he was fired from the position.
People interviewed by Forbes who counsel employers on such issues told the magazine that the employer should have taken steps to end transgender discrimination or transphobia in the workplace, rather than ask the employee the question they did and then terminate him.
In this case, the transgender man says he is bringing the lawsuit to try to end discrimination against transgender people in the workplace. The man said he has always considered himself a man, he has had sex reassignment surgery, and his Social Security card, birth certificate and driver’s license all say that he is a man. He says that he was wrongfully terminated and would like his job back.
NJ transgender man sues over drug-center firing (Forbes)