Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Case of Zikerria Bellamy

In July of this year Zikerria Bellamy applied for a job at an Orlando McDonald's. She was asked in for an interview a few days later. When her transgender status was revealed, she was denied employment.  To add insult to injury, the management left her a voicemail telling her she would never be interviewed, that they didn't hire "faggots" and that she lied on her application.

To enshrine the McDonald's management's stupidity, Zikeeria kept the voicemail and it's now being used in the case filed this week by the Transgender Legal Defense  and Education Network. They've made a YouTube video of it even.

When will people learn that recordings can and will be used against them in the court of public opinion? More importantly, when will people realize that it's happenings like this that make the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act a necessity?

Ms Bellamy is pursuing legal action.  While Florida does not specifically cover gender identity in it's non-discrimination policies, administrative agencies in the state have generally rules that transgenders are protected under the Florida Human Rights Act. Legislation has been introduced in Florida to expand the state's Human Rights Act to cover gender identity.

I'll be watching this case to see if Ms Bellamy gets justice. The statistics are sobering. Almost half of transgender people report having been fired or denied employment or promotion just for being themselves. It's time that they received protection under the law.


Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

wow. While descrimination is sad and horrible, the fact that the manager was stupid enough to leave a message like that on a voicemail is astounding.

LeftLeaningLady said...

Stopping in to say Hi, I'm not dead! Finals Week.

Ms. Bellamy needs justice as does everyone. This is one news story I have actually seen (school has kept me busy) and I was appalled at her treatment.

Great pictures of the dogs. I can't wait to hear about your travels with them. Sounds fun. I want to take Lola somewhere with snow!

Monica Roberts said...

The trans job discrimination was one reason I left the Lone Star State.

Fortunately many Texas cities either have or are enacting since I've left civil rights and job protections for trans people.