A New York Whole Foods employee files lawsuit because of constant abusive, transphobia.
NEW YORK - A transgender employee at a Whole Foods in Chelsea has filed a lawsuit against the health food store for allegedly being referred to as “She…it…whatever” while he worked there, reports Queerty.
Gothamist reports that Victor King began working at the chain last August, making sure to convey his gender identity and that there would be no issues surrounding that with the company.
The suit alleges that King was in the middle of transitioning and presented a court order that his name be changed on Whole Foods’ records, but due to a slow Social Security process, Whole Foods refused to make any changes to official employee documentation.
This was the beginning of a six-month rash of harassments from employees and supervisors. King alleges that shortly after being hired, he was called “he,” “she,” and “it.”
One supervisor Pria Minickchen allegedly humiliated King in front of a customer, saying to, "give it to he/she/it/whatever it is."
Perhaps the most heinous of accusations is that customer service supervisor Quadry Scott said, "I know you're not a guy, I am not going to refer to you as a guy."
After months of abuse according to King, he went to make an official complaint to a Regional Manager who sent him to a Team Leader who also did nothing. In fact things only got worse.
Staff and fellow workers began to shun King according to the filed suit. They also wouldn’t give him instructions on how to work registers, only speaking to him if he were at the wrong one.
Eventually King quit the company after having a breakdown in one of the restrooms. It was suggested that King move to another store, but he felt that if he Whole Foods in Chelsea was so discriminatory, why wouldn’t others be just as abhorrent?
Whole Foods responded to Kings claims in a statement.
"Whole Foods Market just received the lawsuit and is currently reviewing the claims," Whole Foods PR representative Michael Sinatra said in a statement. "As a company, we have long celebrated diversity and acceptance and have zero tolerance for discrimination. Our diverse and inclusive culture is reflected in our team members."
New York City Human Rights Law states that companies must adhere to an employees preferred gender identification, including pronouns, and title.