Victoria Ramirez, a trans woman in Orange County, CA, filed a federal lawsuit against bookseller Barnes & Noble alleging that she was fired after telling her manager about her transition.
According to The Advocate, Ramirez claims that she was barred from wearing women’s clothing, discussing her transition with her co-workers, using the correct pronouns and even told that she could not use the women’s bathroom. Her manager allegedly told her that Barnes & Noble was a “neighborhood store” and Ramirez should “think of the children.”
“I loved my job at Barnes & Noble,” Ramirez told the Transgender Law Center, which is helping her with her case.
“I put myself through college working there. I thought this company shared my values of hard work, integrity, and respect for all people. But when I came out as transgender, they didn’t live up to those values — instead they responded by mocking me and forcing me to hide who I really am.”
The Advocate notes that Barnes & Noble has “touted its perfect score” on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for the past seven years. In a statement to the magazine, Barnes & Noble pointed to that score and said: “We are very proud to employ a large number of transgender individuals, whom, like all employees are treated with dignity and respect.”
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