A transgender woman is suing the clothing chain Forever 21 after a number of transphobic comments and instances of bullying from her manager.
Alexia Daskalakis, 22, claims that her boss at Forever 21 told her that she “worked harder as a man” before firing her without explanation from the chain’s store in Brooklyn, New York.
Daskalakis began working at the store in 2011, before beginning her transition in January 2014. She began to dress more femininely and wear makeup. In response, her manager, Patrick Walmsley, told her “You’re still a male, so you need to abide by the male dress code,” before calling her “disgusting”
“[Forever 21] has discriminated against [Daskalakis] on the basis of her gender, gender expression, gender identity and/or failure to conform to gender stereotypes in violation of the [New York State Human Rights Law] by denying [her] the same terms and conditions of employment available to other employees, up to and including the termination of her employment,” states the lawsuit.
Daskalakis attempted to contact Forever 21’s Human Resources in response to the bullying but was never contacted in return; they also ignored her calls after she was fired.
Daskalakis’ lawyer, David Gottlieb, said in a statement: “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.”
New York Daily News contacted Forever 21’s Brooklyn store to get a comment, and they didn’t help their case. A manager at the store who only gave his name as Jonathan said, “I cannot say anything about Anthony, or Alexia, or whatever.”
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