K.S., a transgender man who works as a massage therapist at a resort spa in the Southwest, contacted Transgender Law Center after his employer balked at the idea of letting him massage clients who requested a male massage therapist. K.S. had begun transitioning in the past year and the spa also did not want to provide him with a new name tag because he had not yet obtained a court ordered name change or gender change on his driver’s license.
Transgender Law Center Staff Attorney Matt Wood talked to K.S. and explained his rights under Title VII, the federal employment non-discrimination statute, and helped him identify the specific areas at work where he was treated differently than other men. When he next met with his employer, K.S. was able to self-advocate and succeeded in having his male gender recognized at work. He is now “booked” as the male massage therapist he is, with a name tag showing his male name and a male uniform to match.
“I’m grateful to Transgender Law Center for helping me understand my legal rights and helping me communicate them to my employer,” said K.S. “It feels great to know that I was able to make a real difference in my work situation thanks to the information and guidance that TLC provided me.”
Transgender Law Center Staff Attorney Matt Wood notes, “Cases like this one are becoming increasingly common and show the significance of TLC’s recent victory in the Macy v. Holder EEOC decision. K.S. lives in a state where there is no explicit state law prohibiting gender identity discrimination in employment. Because of Macy, K.S. was able to show his employer that federal law protects transgender workers and prohibits the company from treating him differently than other men in his workplace. I’m proud we were able to help empower K.S. as well as the more than 2,000 transgender and gender non-conforming people who contact our legal helpline every year.”