FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit against Bojangles
Restaurants Inc. for allegations of subjecting a transgender employee to a hostile
work environment because of her gender identity.
Jonathan Wolfe, a transgender woman who worked at a
Bojangles restaurant in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was purportedly subjected to
offensive comments about her appearance and gender identity. Wolfe identifies and
presents as a woman. EEOC charges that she was often demanded to dress and act
appropriate to the gender assigned to her at birth. The company allegedly fired
Wolfe after she complained about the discrimination.
Alleged conduct of this nature violates the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, specifically Title VII. Title VII protects employees from sex
discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender
"All employees have the right to work in an environment
free from sexual harassment and gender stereotypes,” Lynette Barnes, regional
attorney for EEOC's Charlotte District, said. "Federal law provides
transgender employees protection from sex discrimination in the
EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages
and injunctive relief.