Trans man fired for ‘non compliant’ gender

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Tristan Broussard is suing his former employer after he was told he needed to sign an agreement to act and dress as a woman while at work.

He was hired by Tower Loan, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 2013. When his line manager queried the fact he had a female ID, he informed her that he is transgender. She told him this would not be an issue, and he could expect to work free from judgement.

However he was later called in by the company’s vice president and informed that he gender was not “in compliance with Tower Loan’s personnel policies” and he would need to sign an agreement stating that.

The document he was asked to sign read: “I understand that my preference to act and dress as a male, despite having been born a female, is not something that will be in compliance with Tower Loan’s personnel policies.

“I have been advised as to the proper dress for females and have been provided a copy of the female dress code. I also understand that when meetings occur that require out of town travel and an overnight room is required, I will in assigned to a room with a female.”

Mr Broussard declined, and was fired. According to the lawsuit he was asked if “he ‘had some surgeries and we can see some results,’ then Tower Loan may consider hiring him again.”

He was then unemployed for a month, before becoming a pizza delivery driver, at a far reduced salary.

He is being represented by civil rights group The Southern Poverty Law Center. Staff attorney Sam Wolfe said: “We have a young man who is finally able to get a job — a job that held so much promise for him to have financial security — and the employer turns around and fires him, and we know this type of discrimination is terribly widespread.

“Transgender people are due a fair chance at employment like anyone else. But the transgender community faces unacceptably high rates of unemployment and poverty due to widespread workplace discrimination.”

Mr Broussard told Buzzfeed News: “It takes one person at a time to step up and say this isn’t right. It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed and presenting yourself — that has nothing to do with your work.

“Hopefully, we can figure out the law and stop things like this from happening.”

In January in the UK a trans woman reported she had been sacked for using the women’s toilets.

In February, a study released showed that trans people in the US were four times more likely to be living in poverty.