Ridout Barron


Man and transgender wife sue for harassment

A man in Kentucky who is married to a transgender woman is suing retail giant Amazon after he says they both suffered discrimination in the workplace. The couple is suing Amazon in federal court for punitive and compensatory damages. While this case took place in the United States, some Alberta residents who also experience workplace harassment may painfully relate to the story. 

According to the case file, the couple began working for Amazon back in 2014, but both individuals resigned only a year later, citing "intolerable" workplace conditions. Two months prior to their resignations, they contacted the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file discrimination complaints. Lawyers representing Amazon have expressed surprise, indicating the company is well-known for its support of the LGBT community.

The couple disagrees, saying they were the target of consistent slurs, threats and sexual harassment by multiple co-workers at the shipping facility where they worked. When they complained to their superiors, they claim they were faced with retaliation rather than support. The couple also alleges that during the course of their initial EEOC complaint, their vehicle's brake lines were cut while parked in a lot that was supposed to be secure.

While this is a seemingly extreme example of workplace harassment, the experiences of this couple are not dissimilar from the experiences of some Alberta residents. For individuals facing harassment of any type, there is legal precedent in Canada forbidding such behaviour in workplaces. If the harassment continues unabated and an employer is of no assistance in remedying the situation, the services of a dedicated employment attorney can be of tremendous help to victims.  

Source: komonews.com, "Man and his transgender wife sue Amazon for workplace harassment", David Crary, Accessed on Sept. 6, 2017

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