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Transgender worker's employment discrimination case goes to trial

Employers in Florida and elsewhere should be very familiar with how to treat their workers fairly, but unfortunately, some are still mistreated based on their legally protected statuses. An out-of-state transgender auto mechanic is finally making headway in her six-year long legal battle against employment discrimination. The lower court opinion on her federal court case was recently reversed after the U.S. Court of Appeals determined that there was sufficient evidence for a trial.

Reportedly, the plaintiff had been told by her boss that she was the best mechanic, an opinion that others shared. Despite her rave reviews and not having a disciplinary record, she alleges that her work environment changed when she revealed that she was transgender. When the mechanic first started working at the dealership, she presented as a man, but thereafter, she began to express her feminine persona.

The plaintiff was allegedly told that she should not discuss her transformation with her co-workers. Additionally, when she began to dress more like a female, she was reportedly told not to wear dresses and to not prominently display her new persona. Furthermore, she claims that she was not permitted to use the woman's restroom.

After the plaintiff revealed her female identity, she claims that she began to be subject to discipline and was later fired for falling asleep at work. The woman had originally taken her employment discrimination case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission three times before it was accepted, and then the litigation in federal court proceeded. The plaintiff's lawyer noted that no one should be fired for expressing their identity and that now this case can finally be heard before a jury. Individuals in Florida who have victimized are fully entitled to stand up for their legal rights. In successfully presented cases, claimants may be awarded damages for monetary losses and for any mental distress that was endured, as well as any other remedies ordered by the court.

Source: thegavoice.com, "Transgender woman's lawsuit against Georgia auto dealer goes to trial", Patrick Saunders, Jan. 15, 2016

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