Employee files discrimination suit against Sam's Club

Arizona employers may understand that discriminating against transgender employees could violate employment law. A transgender woman recently filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of North Carolina in December 2017 alleging that her former employer discriminated against her. The lawsuit claims that she was referred to as "it" and "thing" during her time with the company. It further claimed that she was terminated after making reports of the alleged harassment.

In her complaint, the woman said that she was offered advancement opportunities and was in good standing prior to transitioning. She started working for the company in 2004 and began adopting female characteristics, such as growing her hair longer and wearing makeup, in 2008. This allegedly led to poor marks in the employee's personnel file. After the EEOC found that there was evidence of a hostile work environment, the agency tried to work out a solution with Sam's Club. However, those efforts were unsuccessful.

In addition to the hostile workplace, the EEOC claims that her termination was an act of retaliation. Sam's Club denies engaging in such activity. The lawsuit asks that the company enact policies that would offer greater protection and opportunities for those who are transgender. It also seeks compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages, but the exact amount was not specified in the complaint.

Those who face discrimination in the workplace may be entitled to financial and other forms of relief. An attorney could review a case to determine if an individual was exposed to a hostile workplace. Settlement talks may take place in an effort to resolve the matter prior to going to court.

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