A 22 year-old transgender woman Alexia Daskalakis, who used to work for a branch of the popular clothing chain “Forever 21”, was branded her “disgusting” by her former bosses while transitioning into a woman.
Alexia is now suing her former employer, which she claims fired her without being given a reason. She claims she was told by her boss: “You used to be a hard worker when you were a guy, but not anymore.”
“I was devastated. You put all your hard work into working for one company, and they respond by being ruthless.”
Alexia was formerly a man by the name of Anthony Daskalakis. He first took the Brooklyn job at “Forever 21” as a sales associate 4 years ago, and was later promoted to visual merchandiser.
In January last year, she informed her boss that she was transitioning to a woman, and started dressing in a more feminine manner.
She said she struggled with the decision.
“I work hard. I figured my work ethic could trump any discrimination.”
Although her co-workers were supportive of her decision, her bosses did not want to hear the half of it.
Alexia claims her boss Patrick Walmsley began treating her with “increasing contempt” – he found fault with her work in the office and calling her “useless”.
Walmsley told Alexia that she was dressing in an inappropriate manner during a night shift.
Walmsley told Alexia: “You’re still a male, so you need to abide by the male dress code.”
Alexia claims that she contacted human resources about these issues, but they never returned her calls.
Daskalakis’ lawyer, David Gottlieb, said: “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.”
Alexia filed court papers on Wednesday to demand for an undisclosed amount of money.