Atlanta trans woman sues former workplace for $3 million over alleged discrimination
Atlanta trans woman Robyn Casias is seeking $3 million in a lawsuit against her former employer over alleged discrimination.
Casias worked with American telecommunications company AT&T for 16 years, but following alleged discrimination she is now seeking at least $3 million in compensation for three civil claims for gender discrimination, retaliation and punitive damages, along with legal costs.
According to the lawsuit, Casias was a “highly regarded ‘star’ employee” who started at the company in 2001 as a senior member of its technical staff, before being promoted in 2006 and 2012.
Prior to 2017 she presented herself as a “married man with three children” and used male pronouns.
But in March 2017, after transitioning, she revealed her trans status to friends and family, fearing doing so at work, according to the lawsuit.
In May 2017, she received a service excellence award from AT&T which, during a three-day work conference a month later in Texas, gave her the confidence to reveal her true self to her colleagues on the third day.
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As reported by the Daily Mail, the lawsuit states: “That morning, (Casias) put on her dress, makeup, and nail polish, and left her hotel room experiencing a whirlwind of emotions – fear, irreversible decisions, the possibility of turning back, relief, regret, joy, newfound freedom, apprehension about discrimination, and a myriad of other intense feelings.”
The lawsuit noted that her colleagues responded with anger, and one male coworker allegedly “turned beet red” before aggressively demanding to know what she was doing.
Following the event Casias reintroduced herself as Robyn to her coworkers via email.
The lawsuit claims she made to feel like an “unwanted and unwelcomed outcast who was refused substantive work for three years and then terminated”.
It adds that she was “taken off many of the previous projects she had been assigned prior to her transition”.
Casias first reported the alleged discrimination, which she claims included only being assigned to administrative jobs and being excluded from critical meetings and presentations, by August 2018. The complaint states that her case was closed shortly after it was made.
After repeatedly complaining to AT&T’s human resources, Casias escalated her complaints to a company executive by February 2020.
But by 2020, she was fired by AT&T for being “on the surplus”.
AT&T has denied all claims and said: “We do not discriminate, nor do we tolerate discrimination of any kind, including based on (an) individual’s gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.”
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