The lawsuit alleges that the Decatur location’s franchise owner responded to allegations of sexual harassment by saying a transgender woman should be flattered that a man expressed sexual interest in her.
A transgender woman has filed a lawsuit against a federal lawsuit against a Georgia Chick-Fil-A, claiming she was harassed by co-workers for months before eventually losing her job.
According to NBC News, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern Georgia.
Speaking to NBC News, the 29-year-old plaintiff, Erin Taylor, said she “transitioned” nearly three years ago.
Taylor, adds NBC, is referred to in court documents by her legal name, rather than the one she currently uses.
In her complaint, Taylor claims that a Decatur Chick-Fil-A created and condoned hostile working conditions, including routine “sexual harassment.”
NBC News notes that employers in the United States are broadly prohibited from discriminating against workers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Nevertheless, Taylor reports that she subjected to a hostile workplace shortly after accepting a position as director of operations at the Decatur Chick-Fil-A in August of 2021.
Taylor says that she was sexually harassed by a co-worker who made repeated “sexual passes” and “very vulgar comments.”
“I was excited,” Taylor said of her new position, “and unfortunately that excitement changed quickly, starting with my first day.”
Taylor claims that her coworkers’ attitudes and countenance changed after learning that she was transgender.
Several of her coworkers began purposely “misgendering” Taylor, while the same colleague who had attempted to make sexual advances began issuing violent and supposedly “transphobic” threats.
“A lot of transphobia started happening,” Taylor told NBC News. “Immediately, I became fearful. Immediately, the anxiety started.”
While Taylor reported the incidents to a supervisor, management was unresponsive, ultimately directing he to speak to the franchise owner of the Decatur Chick-Fil-A location.
“The Franchise Owner responded by saying that it should be an honor that with [Taylor] being a transgender woman that someone liked her enough to hit on her,” the lawsuit claims.
Taylor was eventually fired in November 21. Her employer said that she was terminated because she left the job while still on the clock.
However, Taylor asserts that she was being actively harassed by a supervisor, who later gave her permission to leave the restaurant.
After losing her job, Taylor filed a federal discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
While Chick-Fil-A is well-known for its conservative company values, Taylor claims that she was “walking in blind.”
“In any professional environment, I would expect that company, and individuals working for that company, to uphold themselves in a professional manner,” she said.