A&E Tire and Auto Repair recently found itself embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit after being accused of refusing to hire a transgender man. With five locations throughout Colorado, the automotive and tire company was previously known only for providing quality services for reasonable prices. Since the news of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) decision to file a lawsuit was announced in a press release, A&E Tire is now at the center of the ongoing battle for transgender employee protection from gender-based discrimination.
In May of 2014 Egan Woodward of Denver, Colorado applied for a managerial position at A&E Tire by submitting his resume and completing an interview on the same day that his resume was submitted. During the interview, Woodward requested a $25,000 per year salary but was told by his interviewer that he could be paid as much as $32,000 annually. Woodward stated the interview lasted approximately 45 minutes and at its conclusion he was told that the position was his provided Woodward pass his background check and drug screening. Woodward was then given a tour of the location and introduced to other employees as the new manager.
A consent form was required for the background check and Woodward completed it by including his birth gender and the female name he was given at birth. Later A&E Tire employee Derrick Haight, the manager who conducted the interview and tour, called Woodward to verify the information written on the background check consent form. Haight asked if the gender information was completed by mistake and when told by Woodward that the information was correct, Woodward claims Haight disconnected the telephone call. After failing to return Woodward’s calls for three weeks, Haight eventually told him that the job was given to someone else.
A complaint was filed alleging that A&E Tire discriminated against Woodward based on his transgender status by retracting a job offer after the company was made aware of his birth gender. The EEOC believe the actions of A&E Tire violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that expressly prohibits discrimination based on an applicant’s transgender status. Since the number of LGBTQ-related employment discrimination charges have risen approximately 120%, the EEOC has made protecting transgender applicants a priority. Though A&E Tire representative Jolene Ekwall stated that no job offer was ever made, an inability to resolve the complaint with the EEOC led to the suit being filed and the matter eventually being settled in court.
Fighting Against Discrimination
Members of the LGBTQ community face numerous challenges when it comes to finding employment. Unfortunately, incidents such as the one Egan Woodward contacted the EEOC about are not uncommon. Having employment offers retracted based on gender and sexual orientation is often humiliating. However, it is important to fight for your rights and seek help if you are denied employment that you are qualified for based on discriminatory reasons. The team at HKM Employment Attorneys is ready to provide you with the advice you need. Contact us today and schedule an appointment at our conveniently located Denver, Colorado location so that we can begin providing you with the representation you deserve.