La'Ray Reed began working at McDonald's in Redford, Michigan in April, 2015. She is now suing her former employer.
The transgender woman says her managers called her names like “boy-slash-she,” groped her genitals, required her to use a broom closet as a bathroom and asked her inappropriate questions about her sexual orientation and preferences on a regular basis.
She was not allowed to use wither the men's room or the women's room.
The bigotry accusations are the focus of a civil rights lawsuit the Sugar Law Center and Schulz Gotham filed on behalf of Reed last month against McDonald’s and Jon Campbell, the owner of the franchise where the 25-year-old worked.
The suit has been filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, claiming that McDonald's and its franchise owner have violated Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which promises equal rights for employment, housing, education and public services, regardless of one’s religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex or marital status.
The Elliott-Larsen Act reflects the State of Michigan’s desire to protect folks from discrimination.
La’Ray not only endured discrimination in the workplace but she was brave enough to stick up for herself, something many folks don't like to do, but will improve the fast food industry for others.
--Anthony Paros, Sugar Law
When Reed brought up the disparate treatment to Campbell, she initially was blown off. When she finally got him to bring the issue up with one of her managers, the manager retaliated by cutting her hours and eventually terminating her, the lawsuit charges.
As a company, we are committed to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald’s restaurants and discrimination of any kind is completely inconsistent with our values. As this is an ongoing legal matter involving an independent owner operator, we cannot comment further.