Transgendered pharmacist files gender discrimination complaint in Denver
July 08 2004 12:00 AM ET
A pharmacist who is currently undergoing gender transformation has filed discrimination complaints against King Soopers in Denver alleging management barred her from wearing women's clothes at work. Kim Dower said she has been a pharmacist for the grocery chain for 12 years. "I want to see King Soopers change their policy so other people like me can't be discriminated against," said Dower, 50. "I have struggled with this most my life." Dower, who is recently separated and has two adult children, filed complaints Friday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Denver
Anti-Discrimination Office. Company spokesman Trail Daugherty said King Soopers had not seen Dower's complaints. He declined to comment.
Dower alleges she was considered an exemplary employee when she told management in March about her plans to dress in women's clothes at work. She said her then-supervisor told her that would be grounds for dismissal. Dower's attorney, Betty Tsamis, said that in trying to resolve the dispute informally, King Soopers demanded Dower's medical and psychological records and an independent medical evaluation before agreeing to let Dower wear women's clothes on the job. Tsamis said the proposals represent an invasion of privacy. Dower alleges her managers' actions violate the Civil Rights Act, which outlaws job discrimination based on gender, and a Denver ordinance barring discrimination. She said she dresses in men's clothing only for work and when she visits her father, who has Alzheimer's disease. She intends to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, she added.