A transgender woman in Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit against her former employer, alleging that sporting goods store Cabela's discriminated against her and ultimately fired her because of her gender identity, according to Allentown, Pa., TV station WFMZ.
Kate Lynn Blatt began working a Tilden Township Cabela’s around the time she first came out as transgender in 2005. She alleges that management was outright hostile to her, fighting her on everything from the right to wear a gender-appropriate uniform, to having a name tag that reflected her true identity, to being able to use the women’s restroom. The lawsuit contends that even after Blatt updated her gender marker on her driver's license, her employer still refused to allow her to use the women's restroom, according to WFMZ. Blatt was terminated in March 2007, according to the local news station.
"It never let up, they never stopped, and it prevented me from expressing who I was," Blatt told WFMZ. "It was still refused and thrown in my face, even after I had provided all the documentation and proved my case."
While Pennsylvania does not have legislation in place that explicitly protects transgender individuals from such workplace discrimination, a number of federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decisions have fallen in favor of transgender employees. In June, the EEOC determined that Blatt did indeed have a case against the sporting goods chain, pointing to Blatt's claims that her employer subjected her to visual and medical "testing" to determine her gender.
Watch WFMZ's report below, which unfortunately features the reporter inquiring about the surgical status of Blatt's genitals in relation to her request to use the women's bathroom. Blatt declined to discuss her private anatomy, and the reporter notes that the station respected those wishes.