Dalila Ali Rajah
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Transgender Woman Sues Chick-fil-A Owner for Discrimination and Abuse

Chick-fil-A in Decatur, Georgia.

A transgender woman is suing the owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise in Georgia for firing her over her gender identity and ignoring repeated reports of sexual harassment.

Several incidents of less-than-holy behavior took place at a location in downtown Decatur, according to the lawsuit. While Erin Taylor was training to be that Chick-fil-A location’s director of operations in 2021, a co-worker sexually harassed her by uttering inappropriate and lewd remarks.

On the first day of training, fellow trainee Sammy Canady allegedly harassed Taylor by saying in front of others, “I would eat your ass and p***y”, “On God, I will f**k the s**t out of you”, “I’ll buck that horse” and “I’ll ride that horse till it buck.” 

In the lawsuit, Taylor (whose legal last name according to the lawsuit is White) claims her shift leader told her to speak to the franchise owner, Joe Engert, when she complained about the incident.

After Taylor went to Engert and informed him she was transgender, he told her “it should be an honor that with [her] being a transgender woman that someone liked her enough to hit on her,” according to the suit.

Following Engert’s exchange with the alleged harasser, people began taunting Taylor with homophobic remarks, and some employees misgendered her, she reports.

Engert allegedly terminated Taylor for tardiness and abruptly walking off her shift, according to Taylor, who also alleges false termination by him. In her claim, Taylor claims that other people of her level were late and were not fired and that her early departure was not an issue because it had been pre-approved. She claims that her identity led to her termination.

She says that when she went to Taylor originally, he implied that if problems persisted, he would look at her as the problem first.

 “As a direct result of [Taylor's] actions and inactions, Plaintiff has suffered emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other nonpecuniary losses,” the suit claims. Taylor is seeking damages.

Chick-fil-A prides itself in being a company with Christian values focused on families (all stores are closed on Sunday), the company's foundation and its owner have donated to anti-LGBTQ+ causes.

The company changed its charitable contribution portfolio in 2019, announcing that it would make donations to fewer organizations the company had previously supported.  At the time, it was reported that Chick-fil-A had pledged to stop funding anti-LGBTQ+ causes, which was misleading. The company didn't state that it stopped donating to anti-LGBTQ+ causes. 

An employee handbook posted online for Chick-fil-A location in South Carolina states that the company has a zero-tolerance policy toward sexual harassment.

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