During the past few years, the definition of sexual identity with regard to protected classes has changed drastically. With this transformation, the laws regarding protected classes have been forced to evolve rapidly, and many large corporations have unfortunately struggled to keep pace. Recently, Wells Fargo settled a wrongful termination lawsuit with a transgender woman in California who allegedly faced discriminatory practices based on her sexual orientation.
The employee involved in the lawsuit was hired to work in the bank’s call center in August 2010, at a time when she publicly presented herself as a male. She began taking testosterone blockers and other hormones to enable her transition from a male to a female at the end of the year. In late spring 2011, she states that she allegedly began to receive increasingly hostile comments about her appearance and job performance from both co-workers and superiors.
The suit asserts that the employee was so overcome by the conditions she faced at work that she often contemplated suicide. Additionally, she was allegedly excluded from mandatory job training sessions and also from meetings that supervisors scheduled with employees. She was eventually fired from her position in August 2014 when her supervisor told her that Wells Fargo could no longer employ her.
According to the lawsuit, the employee filed several complaints against Wells Fargo after she experienced wrongful termination and employment discrimination. The terms of the settlement that she reached with the company were not divulged. If those in California find themselves in similar work conditions, they could benefit from seeking the advice of an employment law attorney. An attorney who focuses on this area of law could be in the best position to offer guidance on the legal options available for an employee who feels his or her rights have been violated.
Source: Baldwin Park, Ca. Patch, “Wells Fargo Settles with Transgender Woman in Wrongful Termination Suit“, June 3, 2016