lgbtVictoria Ramirez, a longtime employee at a Barnes and Noble in Irvine California is suing the company due to treatment received after informing them she was transitioning to a woman. The court papers filed described the store management’s reaction as being anything but helpful.

When the time came for Victoria’s transition, the store management wanted Victoria to hide the events and pretend as though nothing was happening. They told Ms. Ramirez that they wouldn’t be using any female pronouns when speaking to her and the store also had said that no bathroom facility for a woman could be used by her at this time either.  She was informed that the transgender choice she had made didn’t go along with the neighborhood vibe the store was presenting. Not soon after being told the transition would not be allowed, she was fired.

Barnes and Nobles presented a very different picture of how they purportedly treat transgender personnel. In a statement released, they say their transgender employees are treated with respect and the Company wil cover expenses like hormone therapy, surgery, and counseling. The company spokesperson also said they met with management to go over the company policy with them in aiding the employees in their transitioning.

The expectation for tolerance in this kind of case has been clearly established by California law. However, individuals at certain stores at large chains are not allowed to dictate policy and must be held accountable for their violation of established discrimination statutes. Anyone in California making a transition or facing any discrimination due to lifestyle or sexual orientation by an employer or anyone else can turn to an LGBT rights attorney to insure their rights at work and in the community at large are protected.

It is illegal in California and federal laws to discriminate against individuals who are transgendered or on the basis of gender identity. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it unlawful for any employer with over 5 employees to discriminate against an employee based on an unlawful reason, such as race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, language, or any other protected reason. California law is broader than federal law on this point, as there is no law under Title VII that provides protection for discrimination based on the actual or perceived gender identity of employees.


AXIS Legal Counsel is an employment law firm representing clients  in numerous kinds of lawsuits and disputes involving some of the nation’s largest employers. Whether it is sexual harassment, other kinds of harassment, discrimination, medical/disability discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, wage/hour, workplace bullying, or other claims, AXIS Legal Counsel is experienced in the field of employment and labor law and focused on providing high-quality legal service.  AXIS’s managing attorney, Rabeh M. A. Soofi, is recognized as one of the “Top Women Lawyers in Southern California” by SuperLawyers Rising Stars, and is a Los Angeles Employment Attorney with experience representing numerous employees with a wide variety of employment claims.

For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel for any employment matter, including transgendered or LGBT righsts, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation, or visit our Employee’ Rights Practice Area, or Individual Rights Portal. AXIS is a Los Angeles, California employment law firm serving employees all over Los Angeles and California.

 Gender Identity Discrimination is Illegal.

 If you or a loved one has been the victim of discrimination, 

due to your gender identity or transgender status get help now.


Request a Consultation


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