Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The 10th nominee for the “Worst Employer of 2021” is … the transphobic terminator

Kimberly Grinage was born male but identifies as a transgender woman. That fact presented a huge problem for her during her employment at an Extended Stay America property, as she alleges in her lawsuit. She claims that her Christian manager fired her specifically because he did not want a transgender woman working for him.

She alleges that the manager with whom she interviewed, Matthew Figurski, asked her during her interview if she was a Chrisitan. For that reason, she hid her transgender status at the outset of her employment. After some of her coworkers encouraged her to "be yourself," she began coming to work dressed in female clothing, which resulted in some coworkers mocking her for "dressing like a girl," she alleges

Feeling bullied, Grinage reported the harassment to Figurski, whose response certainly did not help. He allegedly replied, "Matt, I can't help you. I don't want a transgender person here. If you are going to do that, I have to get rid of you." That comment caused Grinage to report Figurski their employer's "hotline" number.

Her report, however, only caused Figurski's harassment to increase in frequency and severity.

Grinage alleges that Figurski made comments such as the following:

  • "This is an American hotel; I don't want any of that trans crap here."
  • "Stop acting like a girl."
  • "Dress like a guy."
  • "You look like a fag."
  • "You are a guy not a girl. You need to quit with that. If you continue to act that way I am going to fire you."

In response to that last comment, Grinage claims that she told Figurski that firing her because of her status as a transgender woman would violate the law. She alleges that Figurski told her that he'd "find a way," and fired her four days later.

According to one survey, transgender adults who experienced discrimination are three times more likely to report suicidal thoughts and attempts as compared to the general population, at 13 percent.
These sad statistics certainly make sense when you read Kimberly Grinage's story. Be an ally, not a vessel of hate.

If you fire an employee because you don't want a transgender woman working for you, and call her offensive epithets on her way out the door, you might be the worst employer of 2021.