Fil-Am transgender sues Macy’s for discrimination

Posted at 05/22/2010 1:36 PM | Updated as of 05/23/2010 11:36 AM

CALIFORNIA - A Filipino American is suing her former employer Macy’s department store for wrongful termination and discrimination.

For close to 3 years, Filipino American Jason “Jazz” Araquel, Jr. was at employee at the Macy’s store in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California. Araquel is a pre-operative male to female transgender, which Macy’s management knew when she was hired in 2006.

Araquel, who worked in the cosmetics department, was fired in September last year for alleged insubordination and use of foul language. Araquel then filed a lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully terminated, alleging that she was a victim of gender identity discrimination, according to Araquel’s attorney Kelly Chen.

Araquel claims that throughout her employment at Macy’s, she experienced ongoing verbal abuse, being ejected from the women’s restroom, was required to do work assignments not part of her duties, was being held at a stricter standard, and was subjected to constant ridicule from both management and other employees.

She made ongoing complaints to management about being harassed and discriminated in the workplace. Araquel believes her termination was retaliation for those complaints.

“Given the sensitive nature and impact of the decision by any individual to change their sex – physically, psychologically and emotionally – it is abhorrent that Macy’s not only sat by and allowed her to suffer in an environment of humiliation and harassment from other employees, but its management actually contributed to her pain and suffering through its ongoing unfair treatment of her and eventually by her termination,” said Araquel’s attorney Eric Castelblanco. Balitang America