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Transgender woman
sues for job discrimination

Transgender woman
sues for job discrimination

A suit was filed in a federal court in Texas after a new hire at a medical imaging company saw her employment offer withdrawn because she did not tell the company she was transgender. Izza Lopez, 26, of Houston, will be represented by Lambda Legal in a trial against River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic.

According to a Lambda Legal press release, the lawsuit charges that the company violated Lopez's rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment.

According to the statement, Lopez said she applied for the position as a scheduler with the company. After applying, going through the screening process, and being interviewed, she was asked to start as soon as possible in October 2005. Days after she was hired, however, she received a call from River Oaks's human resources director and employment recruiter, telling her the company was not going to employ her because she misrepresented herself as a woman. She was unable to get her previous job back and remained unemployed for several months.

"As an applicant, I was interviewed by a manager and a director who both felt I was qualified to do the job," Lopez said in the press release. "I was shocked when I received the call from human resources taking away the job they'd offered me--it felt as if they'd said to me, 'You're a monster; we don't want you here.'"

Lambda Legal transgender rights attorney Cole Thaler is lead counsel on the case, and Ken Upton, senior staff attorney in the group's Dallas office, is assisting him. (The Advocate)

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