Houston trangender woman sues over job

Posted on 21 Dec 2006 at 5:39pm
By Staff Reports


Cole Thayer

Officials with Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund announced this week that lawyers with the organization have filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas on behalf of a transgender woman who said an employment offer was rescinded after her potential employer learned she is transgender.

Cole Thayer, Lambda Legal’s transgender rights specialist, said that even though Izza Lopez was the best applicant for the job, officials at River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic in Houston “decided they didn’t want a transgender employee and claimed that she “‘misrepresented herself.’”

Lopez, 26, said she applied for the position of scheduler with the medical imaging company in September this year. She said that after sending in her resume, she went into the office for an interview and completed both a background check and a drug test. On Oct. 4, Lopez said, she was offered the job and was asked to start work as soon as possible.

Lopez said she gave notice to her current employer the following day and planned to start work at River Oaks the week of Oct. 24. However, on Oct. 10, Lopez said, she received a phone call from River Oaks director of human resources and one of its employment recruiters who said the job offer was being rescinded because she had misrepresented herself as a woman.

Lopez said she was then unable to get her previous job back and as a result was unemployed for several months.

She said that when the call came telling her the job offer was being rescinded, “it felt as if they’d said to me, “‘You’re a monster. We don’t want you here.’”

Thaler said the lawsuit is part of Lambda’s “Blow the Whistle” campaign to end discrimination in the workplace against LGBT people and those with HIV.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, December 22, 2006.

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