A new lawsuit filed against budget friendly trendsetter Forever 21 accuses the fashion company of discrimination against a transgender former employee.
Four years ago Alexia Daskalakis worked at a Brooklyn based Forever 21. She claims in a lawsuit that she was taunted by her superiors during her transition from male to female and was fired with no explanation.
The 22-year-old spoke with The New York Daily News and says she knew her decision to transition would be hard at work and informed her supervisors. Daskalakis says her colleagues and customers were supportive when she "began dressing in a more traditionally feminine manner."
But she alleges in the lawsuit that her bosses started to mock her saying things like "You used to be a hard worker when you were a guy, but not anymore" and calling her "disgusting" and a "hot mess." And at one point she claims a manager made her "abide by the male dress code."
Forever 21 is a deeply religious corporation. If you've ever bought something from the chain you might notice the bottom of your yellow shopping bag is stamped with 'John 3:16' in reference to the bible passage. At this time the company hasn't responded to the allegations in the lawsuit.
Just last month Saks settled a similar discrimination lawsuit in Texas. Fortune reports that in 2012 Leyth Jamal was fired after filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision. Jamal claimed that a manager in her Houston store told her to dress more masculine and "separate her home life from work life." Saks tried to argue that the Civil Rights Act banning sex discrimination didn't cover gender identity. The company withdrew it's defense and settled the case for an undisclosed amount.