California workers may be interested to learn that a former McDonald’s employee filed a lawsuit claiming that she was subjected to discrimination and was sexually harassed because she is transgender. The defendants are the company as well as the owner of the franchise located in Redford, Michigan.

The 25-year-old transgender woman worked at the franchise between April and August 2015. While she was employed there, she claimed that she was referred to as a “boy-slash-girl” by other staff. She was also not allowed to use a normal bathroom. Instead, she claimed she was forced to use a bathroom that was serving as a storage area. Additionally, she claimed that she was groped while at work. She was eventually taken off the schedule after having her hours reduced and later terminated after she complained to a supervisor.

As a result, the woman was seeking compensation for loss of wages, loss of self-esteem and emotional pain. In response to the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the fast-food giant said that the company was committed to fair treatment of its employees and that discrimination was not consistent with their core values.

When supervisors or other staff members discriminate a person based on their gender or identity, they create a hostile working environment. While there are laws against workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and discrimination occur in workplaces across the nation and can have negative impact on an employee’s ability to earn an income while feeling safe at work. An employment law attorney may file a lawsuit against the employer so that the employee can seek compensation for any income he or she was unable to earn due to the discrimination. The attorney may also seek additional damages for emotional distress if applicable.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Trans Employee Sues McDonald’s For ‘Extreme Sexual Harassment,’ Discrimination,’ Discrimination”, Curtis Wong, June 17, 2017