En Español Know Your Rights
Source: San Diego Gay and Lesbian News
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

J. Crew Accused of Discriminating Against Transgender Job Applicants

 

NEW YORK – Gay rights
supporters rallied Sunday in front of a J. Crew store in Manhattan to protest employment
discrimination against transgender job applicants.


Organizers
have filed a job-discrimination complaint against J. Crew with the New York
State Attorney General’s Office.


"Until J. Crew
changes its policies, it can expect more protests,"
said Karina Claudio-Betancout, organizer at Make
the Road New York,
which conducted
the investigation and organized the event.


Researchers
investigated employment discrimination at 24 retail companies in Manhattan and identified
J. Crew as a violator of the New York City Human Rights Law. When equally
qualified job applicants applied for positions at J. Crew, non-transgender
applicants were consistently hired over transgender applicants, the study
found.


One
of the transgender employment testers, Julian Brolaski, applied at the 5th Avenue J. Crew
store. He was treated brusquely, told to fill out an application and was never
called. His testing partner, Leigh Cambre, who entered the store a few minutes
later, described a very different experience: "I filled out an
application, was interviewed on the spot and offered a job soon after." A
separate pair of testers documented a similar situation.


The
transgender testers said the study results confirmed what they had suspected
from personal experience, but had never been able to prove as individual job
applicants.


Protesters
called on J. Crew to address discrimination by adopting a non-discrimination
policy and including it in all job listings and applications, training
employees about non-discrimination policies and practices, and ensuring that
transgender and gender non-conforming people are free from harassment on the
job.


Released
today, the report titled “Transgender Need Not Apply: a Report on Gender
Identity Job Discrimination” also found a 42 percent net rate of discrimination
for transgender job applicants, a high figure in comparison to rates documented
for other populations such as African-Americans and the elderly. Companies at
which at least one non-transgender tester was hired over a transgender tester
included Nine West, Brookstone, Kenneth Cole, and DSW. Only one employer,
Virgin Megastore, hired a transgender tester over a non-transgender tester. In
addition, 49 percent of transgender workers surveyed reported that they have
never been offered a job in the time that they have lived openly as
transgender.


The
rally and news conference was held in front of the J. Crew store, 91 Fifth Ave.,
between 16th and 17th streets.