Tyson Ramirez worked at Barnes & Noble for years as a man without complaint; indeed, he received exemplary comments for his performance. However, when he decided to identify as a woman named Victoria, he was subjected to discriminatory treatment and ultimately fired. As a result. Ramirez is suing Barnes & Noble.
Ramirez claims that she was not allowed to wear women’s clothing, discuss her transition with her co-workers, use female pronouns to identify herself or use the women’s restroom. She claims to have suffered on-going panic attacks and severe anxiety from the work pressures, and when she told her manager she couldn’t hide who she was any longer, she was fired.
“The law is clear: no one should be targeted for humiliation and harassment at work and ultimately lose their job because of who they are,” says Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, in a statement. “It’s unacceptable for any employee to go through what Victoria experienced at Barnes & Noble, and it’s particularly disturbing given the public image the company has cultivated around its support for LGBT people.”
Ramirez’s lawyers cite Title VII, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in employment and has been widely interpreted in recent years by courts and federal agencies to protect transgender employees, and California law, which includes an explicit prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
We hope Ramirez wins, as firing a person for transgender status is bad public policy.