A transgender New Jersey man has filed a lawsuit against his former employer for wrongful termination. According to a piece in Forbes, the case may be the first in the U.S. where a transgender person is claiming employment discrimination based on birth gender. The case no doubt will spark complicated employment issues for employers to consider.
The New Jersey man filed the lawsuit against his former employer because he claims he was fired from his job at a drug center based on transgender discrimination. New Jersey prohibits discrimination based on transgender status.
According to Forbes, the man was hired for a job that only a man is allowed to do, which is supervising men urinate to make sure that they are not cheating on drug tests. The transgender individual was born a female, but has always considered himself a man and has undergone sex reassignment surgery. His driver’s license, Social Security card and birth certificate also identify him as a male.
The man says he was hired at the drug center and underwent a day of training. When he came for his first day of work, however, his manager sat him down and asked him if he was a man. When the employee said that he was, the manager asked if he had had surgery to make him a man. The employee told his manager that that was private information and the manager fired him.
People who advise employers on transgender issues and other employee issues say that it would have been better if the employer had sought to create a workplace that was free of transgender bias, rather than firing the employee.
NJ transgender man sues over drug-center firing (Forbes)