A 22-year-old is suing Forever 21, claiming that she was ridiculed by the management staff and was labeled as “disgusting.” Alexia Daskalakis was employed at Forever 21 while transitioning from a male to a female. The transgender woman worked at the store for four years, during which time she decided to make the transition to a woman permanent. Formerly reporting to work as Anthony Daskalakis, the staff believed him to be a hard worker and model employee. Not long after being hired, he was promoted to a visual merchandiser. However, after announcing the change and appearing at work as a woman, the praise abruptly halted. Instead, the berating began.
“You used to be a hard worker when you were a guy, but not anymore.”
The New York Daily News interviewed Alexia regarding the backlash against her.
“I was devastated. You put all your hard work into working for one company, and they respond by being ruthless,”
Alexis began to experience issues at the beginning of 2014 after sharing her decision to become a woman. She explained how she always felt like a woman, even though she was born a male. The conversation was meant to be private, allowing her the opportunity to share on her own time. She knew her work history showed that she was dedicated and efficient at her job, thinking that would allow everyone to look past the change.
Most of her coworkers were excited to experience the change and applauded her decision. However, the bosses of Forever 21 were not as accepting. Metro reported that one boss in particular gave her a rough time. Patrick Walmsley began to criticize Daskalakis’ work performance and forced her to abide by the men’s dress code.
“You’re still a male, so you need to abide by the male dress code.”
Daskalakis was bullied daily by Walmsley, forcing her to contact human resources for an intervention. However, they never returned her phone call. Eventually, she had no choice but to hire a lawyer, David Gottlieb. He responded to the issue by stating the transgender community faces many problems, and bullying by a boss is not acceptable.
“The transgender community faces a variety of challenges, and it is disgraceful for employers to create additional hardship by discriminating against employees simply because of how they express and identify their gender.”
The amount of money the case is expected to receive, if won, is unknown. However, Dasklakis is more interested redemption than monetary rewards.
[Photo Courtesy: Death and Taxes Mag]