A manager at a KFC restaurant, located in Richmond, Virginia, has been terminated by the fast food company after it was established that he had discriminated against a transgender worker at the store. According to a report by the Courier Journal, the manager of the restaurant, who has not been named yet, had fired 27-year-old transgendered individual, Georgia Carter, just a few hours after she was hired for a job at the KFC outlet. The report says that after finding about Carter’s gender identification, the manager instructed her not to report for training the following day. The manager came to know about Carter after her driver’s license identified her as a male.
In an interview to WRIC TV, Carter told she was initially happy to be hired — which was just last week. The manager had interviewed her and offered her a position that started out at $7.50 an hour.
“I am going to start you out at $7.50 an hour. It is yours. We are going start you training on the computer tomorrow. It was like 11 to four (o clock).”
She further adds the following.
“He was like my supervisor, and I have a problem because on your license it says male but you’re … I said I’m transgender.”
That’s when things started to go downhill. The manager upon discovering her sexuality told her that he would not be able to hire her because “we don’t know which bathroom you can use.”
After she was fired, a disappointed Carter talked about her experience on social media and the incident was picked up by local media. The news went on to become viral, which eventually led to KFC issuing a statement explaining their stance on the issue. Less than 72 hours since the incident, the official Twitter handle of KFC posted this.
@elielcruz KFC will not tolerate discrimination. The franchisee terminated this manager & Ms Carter was offered a job at any Richmond KFC
— KFC (@kfc) March 1, 2016
They also gave a separate statement to Eater, in which KFC chief people officer John Kurnick informed that KFC had ordered an internal inquiry into the incident, at the end of which the manager in question was asked to leave. He also added that KFC’s franchisee policy bars discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The official statement issued by KFC reads as follows.
“KFC’s policy is to treat everyone fairly, equally and with respect, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Upon learning of this allegation, the franchisee who owns this Richmond restaurant conducted an immediate and thorough investigation. The manager has been terminated for violating the franchisee’s anti-discrimination policy, which is inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation. The franchisee’s leadership has also had a conversation with Ms. Carter, offering her employment at this restaurant or any of their Richmond area KFC restaurants, effective immediately. Additionally, the franchisee is emphasizing sensitivity and compliance with their policies to keep this from happening again.”
Back in June, 2015, following the Supreme Court ruling that reaffirmed the right to gay marriage, KFC had come in support of the same and posted an image of Colonel Sanders wearing rainbow sunglasses. It also had a quote from the KFC founder that talked about fairness.
“Don’t be against things so much as for things,” the quote read.
According to Business Insider, there is no federal law currently that bans workplace discrimination against transgender employees. While several states have some protections against workplace discrimination against transgender people, Virginia is not one of them.