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Transgender prison guard alleges workplace discrimination

After suffering from threats to his physical well-being, a transgender prison guard, who works outside of Texas, claims he will have his case heard in a federal court. He claims that he was the victim of workplace discrimination because of his gender identity. The plaintiff alleges that he suffered harassment at the hands of his co-workers and his supervisors.

The plaintiff was already employed by the state Department of Corrections when he openly announced that he would be transitioning to a male. After the announcement, the plaintiff claims that one of the tires on his vehicle was slashed in the parking lot. The harassment then purportedly became verbal when his co-workers and superiors made insulting remarks about his gender or lack thereof. Additionally, other officers had allegedly said they were offended by the plaintiff's choice to transition.

After inmates allegedly told the plaintiff that other guards would not come to help him if there was an emergency, he began to fear for his life and safety. The spokesman of the Department of Corrections contends that claims were investigated and found to be baseless because there was no evidence to support that the plaintiff was in any kind of danger. Furthermore, the plaintiff apparently never made any inclination that he could be in physical danger.

This response did not satisfy the plaintiff, and he filed a workplace discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Because the case could not be investigated within six months, the case was moved to federal court. The plaintiff is asking the court to force the harassment to cease as well as award him monetary damages for his ordeal. Texas workers should not be treated differently because of their legally protected status, and those who feel they have receive disparate treatment may considering going forward with legal actions.

Source: tucson.com, "Transgender guard sues corrections department", Howard Fischer, Nov. 28, 2015

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