The manager of an Orlando, Florida McDonald’s who refused to interview a transgender woman and left a voicemail message stating: "We don’t hire faggots," has been fired.
In a statement, the company says:
"Sand Lake Road McDonald’s has a strict policy prohibiting any form of
discrimination or harassment in hiring, termination, or any other
aspect of employment in the organization. The restaurant requires all
employees to comply with local, state and federal employment laws. The
behavior of the individual in question is not reflective of the
employment policies in the organization. Further, this individual acted
outside the scope of his authority and was not responsible for hiring.
The individual in question is no longer employed by the restaurant."
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Potential employees were assured of an ostensible gender "non-discrimination" policy stated on applications for positions at McDonald’s.
A box next to "gender" on the McDonald’s job application
was listed as "optional" information, information Bellamy opted not
to disclose. According to the application, "failure to respond will not subject
you to adverse treatment."
Except, notes Queerty, that’s exactly what happened. Bellamy is weighing a possible lawsuit.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) has filed an employment discrimination complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations against McDonald’s for discriminating against a transgender person who applied for a job.
TLDEF reports that:
On July 10, 2009, Zikerria Bellamy applied online for a position as a Shift Manager or Crew Leader at McDonald’s. On July 28, after managers at McDonald’s learned that Zikerria is
transgender, she received the following voicemail message from one of
You lied to me…..You told me you was a woman….We don’t hire faggots.
This case has implications at both the state and national level. In Florida, according to TLDEF, no law explicitly addresses discrimination based
on gender identity. But administrative agencies in Florida have ruled that
transgender people are protected by the Florida Human Rights Act’s
prohibitions on sex and disability discrimination. The Competitive Workforce Bill,
which would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Florida
Civil Rights Act, was introduced in the Florida legislature on November
But even these protections are relatively rare. In 38 states,
there is no law protecting transgender people from being fired because
of who they are.
Federal law similarly offers no job protection for
According to TLDEF:
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (S.1584)
would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to
fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on the
person’s gender identity or sexual orientation at companies with
fifteen or more employees. The legislation was introduced in the
United States Senate on August 5, 2009. On November 5, the Senate
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held the Senate’s
first hearing on the latest version of ENDA. A version of ENDA was
also introduced in the United States House of Representatives on June
24, 2009. The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on
the measure on September 23. Little has happened since.
A 2007 survey showed that
72 percent of Americans agree that "fairness is a basic American value
and employment decisions should be based solely on qualifications and
job performance, including for transgender people." In a 2002 poll, 61
percent of those polled said that we need laws to protect transgender
people from discrimination.
Yet the lack of legal protections has immediate ramifications. TLDEF cites a recent survey
conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for
Transgender Equality which found that 47 percent of transgender people report being fired, or
denied a job or promotion, just because of who they are.