KFC Takes Action Against Anti-Transgender Discrimination, Underlining Need for LGBT Protections in Virginia

By Adam Polaski • March 1, 2016 • 1:06 pm

The restaurant franchise KFC has taken action against one of its restaurant managers in Richmond, Virginia, who hired and then fired a woman simply because she is transgender.

KFC

Last week, 27-year-old Georgia Carter, a transgender woman in Richmond, applied for a job at KFC and was offered the position following an interview. She texted her boyfriend her excitement about being an ‘active member of society’ – but about an hour after receiving the good news, the store manager called and let her know that she was no longer welcome to work at the restaurant. Georgia had given her driver’s license to the manager for standard processing, but the driver’s license does not match Georgia’s gender identity.

Gay Star News reports:

‘My supervisor and I have a problem because on your license it says “male”,’ Carter says he told her, and when she said it’s because she’s transgender, they said: ‘Oh, we can’t hire you because we don’t know which bathroom you can use.’

KFC took swift action, telling reporters that they have let go of the manager who discriminated and again offered a job to Georgia.

KFC continued in a statement to Gay Star News: “The franchisee’s leadership has also had a conversation with Ms. Carter, offering her employment at this restaurant or any of their Richmond area KFC restaurants, effective immediately. Additionally, the franchisee is emphasizing sensitivity and compliance with their policies to keep this from happening again.”

It’s great that KFC did the right thing by correcting this gross employment discrimination – but fair non-discrimination policies shouldn’t be in the hands of each individual employer. The reality is that in Virginia, LGBT individuals have no explicit statewide protections from discrimination in employment, housing, or public spaces – and incidences like these underline that it’s far past time for a comprehensive statewide LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination law in Virginia, and nationwide.


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