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Transgender woman sues Forever 21 for workplace discrimination

On April 1, a 22-year-old transgender woman from Brooklyn filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against clothing store Forever 21 claiming that the management at one of their New York locations harassed her. The federal lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The lawsuit claims the woman, who began working at a local Forever 21 in 2011, was called "useless," "a hot mess" and "disgusting" by one of the store's managers after she came out as a transgender woman in early 2014. The suit also alleges that management said her clothing was "inappropriate" when they allowed other female employees to dress in similar outfits. It further claims a manager told her she used to work harder when she was a man. She says she was fired without cause shortly after filing a formal discrimination complaint.

The woman's lawsuit cites the New York State Human Rights Law to support her claim of being unlawfully discriminated against based on her gender identity and expression. In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that provisions against sex discrimination outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would now be interpreted to include transgender employees.

No one should have to be discriminated against based on their gender, sexual orientation or any other classification protected by state and federal laws. Those who believe they have faced illegal discrimination, harassment or retaliation in the workplace may wish to meet with an employment law attorney. After a review of the evidence supporting the claim, the attorney could recommend the appropriate course of legal action.

Source: Advocate.com, "N.Y. Trans Woman Called 'Disgusting' By Forever 21 Management Files Suit," Mitch Kellaway, April 7, 2015

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