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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 4, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 10
Trans woman hired, fired, then rehired by Virginia KFC
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Trans woman hired, fired, then rehired by Virginia KFC

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Transgender woman has been rehired by a Richmond, Va., Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise after being fired because her manager couldn't figure out which bathroom she should use.

Georgia Carter went for a job interview at the fast-food restaurant and was offered a shift. She was excited to be working, she says.

'He was like, you have got the job,' Carter said. 'I am going to start you out at $7.50 an hour. It is yours. We are going to start you training on the computer tomorrow. It was like, 11 to 4.

'I went to my boyfriend and said I have a job,' she added. 'I am an active member of society. I was so happy.'

Only an hour later she received a call from the KFC manager.

'He was like, my supervisor and I have a problem because on your license it says 'male,' Carter says he told her.

She then explained that she is Transgender.

'Oh, we can't hire you because we don't know which bathroom you can use,' the manager replied.

The manager admitted he interviewed Carter but claims he never offered her the job. If she changes her gender marker to female on her driver's license, he will reconsider, he said.

Instead, the KFC parent corporation fired the manager and offered to rehire Carter.

'KFC's policy is to treat everyone fairly, equally, and with respect, and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind,' the company said in a statement.

'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.'

According to Equality Virginia, gender identity does not create a protected class in Virginia's employment law, so employers are free to fire or refuse to hire Trans people.

With his Executive Order Number 1 in 2014, Gov. Terry McAuliffe did extend employment protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, but only to state workers. Employees of private companies are still vulnerable to anti-LGBT discrimination.

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