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Trans McDonald’s worker claims abuse ‘forced’ her to resign

Patrick Kelleher April 4, 2019
Trans McDonald’s worker claims abuse ‘forced’ her to resign

Justin Sullivan/Getty

A transgender woman has alleged that she experienced discrimination while working at McDonald’s restaurants in Mississippi because of her gender identity.

Joselyn Kelly said she was hired by franchise owners Elizabeth and Andrew Smith to work as an area supervisor for McDonald’s restaurants across North Mississippi, according to the Clarion Ledger.

In a lawsuit that was filed last week, Kelly claimed she started working for the couple across several McDonald’s outlets in early January and told them her gender identity the day before she started her new job.

In papers obtained by the Mississippi-based newspaper, Kelly said she experienced discrimination from the Smiths—as well as other staff—which included misgendering.

She claimed she was called ‘it’ during her employment at McDonald’s

She also claimed she was referred to as an “it” and said anti-transgender slurs were used against her during her brief employment.

Kelly claimed she was told that “transgenders” are an abomination while working there, and that she was mockingly called “Juwanna Man”—in reference to a male film character who impersonates a woman.

She also said that she was assigned menial tasks that would have only been performed by entry-level employees and said this was a part of the discriminatory behaviour she experienced.

In the lawsuit, Kelly claimed that she was “forced to resign” by the treatment she experienced from the Smiths and from other staff working in the restaurants.

They said the “increase in visibility and social acceptance of transgender people may increase the number of individuals willing to identify as transgender on a government-administered survey.”

– Williams Institute

PinkNews made efforts to contact Kelly’s lawyer for comment but no response had been received at the time of publishing. The Clarion Ledger attempted to contact the Smiths but were unsuccessful.

PinkNews also contacted McDonald’s for comment but no response had been received at the time of publishing.

Trans McDonald’s worker claims abuse ‘forced’ her to resign
Darren McCollester/Newsmakers/Getty

After she left the job, Kelly filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and they gave her the right to sue on March 20.

A lawsuit was filed on March 29. She is seeking compensation and legal costs in the case.

Estimates around the number of transgender people living in the United States vary

In 2016, the Williams Institute estimated that 0.6 percent of adults in the United States identified as transgender—which means there were around 1.3 million trans people in the US.

When the Williams Institute announced those figures in 2016, they said that they had doubled from when they had last done them five years earlier.

They said the “increase in visibility and social acceptance of transgender people may increase the number of individuals willing to identify as transgender on a government-administered survey.”

Meanwhile, in 2017, LGBT statistics by GLAAD reported that an estimated 3 percent of the US population identified as transgender across various age groups.

More: anti-trans, lawsuit, mcdonald's, Mississippi, Transgender, US

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