A transgender woman who used the male pronoun to describe herself was targeted for her race by an employer and a social worker.
The unidentified employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told 7News that she was contacted in September 2015 by a local employer after her boss discovered she was transgender.
The employer had recently moved into a new office building and had moved her to another part of the city.
The employer contacted the local social worker and requested that she sign a document that would explain her gender transition.
The document read in part: “My job requires that I dress in the manner that matches my gender identity and identify myself as male.
I do not want to identify myself in this manner and cannot legally do so in this office environment.”
The employee said the employer did not mention her name or gender, so she feared that it would be difficult to obtain the paperwork needed to transition in the workplace.
The social worker, who is white, asked the employer if it could send a copy of the document to the transgender woman.
The employee agreed to send a letter stating that she did not want the document, but the employer said it could not.
The employee said she told the social worker she was a trans woman and did not wish to have the document.
After the social workers office sent the document back, the employee said, she was told by the social work department that it was a violation of her workplace policy to use a pronoun that was not her biological sex.
The woman said the social services office told her it could file a complaint against the employer, but she did nothing.
She said she filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission and the Human Services department, but neither agency responded.
The local office manager said the office is not obligated to comply with transgender employees.
7News spoke with the manager about the incident and received no response.
The manager said she did speak with the transgender employee.
The company that employed the employee, The St. Petersburg Office Building and Construction, did not return calls seeking comment.
A local attorney, who asked to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to speak to the media, said the transgender worker was harassed by the employee and was ultimately told she was fired.
She alleged the employee had not taken her complaints to the Human Resources department because she feared retaliation.
The attorney said the employee filed a lawsuit against the company last fall, but that she had not been able to reach the employee for comment since then.
The attorney said her office has also reached out to the employee but she was still waiting for a response.