NY Couple Allegedly Fires Awesome Housekeeper For Being Trans

When Thompson and Caroline Dean hired Anastacia St. Claire-Hannah as their housekeeper, they initially felt “very impressed” with her work. Then they found out she was transgender, allegedly began calling her a “disgusting” “freak,” and then fired her because “they said it would look bad for Thompson Dean’s image and business.” Now St. Clair-Hannah will sue the Deans in New York supreme court for benefits and back pay. The Deans deny the allegations. But while St. Clair-Hannah can probably win her back pay, seeing as New York state and the U.S. have no employee protections for trans employees, she doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on to sue for discrimination.

Silly Deans—good housekeeping has no gender. And good help is so hard to find these days.

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  • jeff4justice

    Unfortunately our transgender bothers and sisters a lot of adversity in employment.

    This and many other topics are raised in this interview:
    TransYouth Family Allies Kim Pearson Conversations For Connecting Full Interview

  • missanthrope

    If GENDA had been passed in NY this wouldn’t have happened or if it had she’d have a much better case. When is are New York activists going to get serious about GENDA?

  • Riker

    @missanthrope: Probably in the next legislative session, or whenever transpeople start making more noise about it. They need to get the ball rolling, we won’t do it for them.

  • Opinionated

    The trans community needs to strengthen itself up. Quit with the MLK-style, and start “Malcolm X”-ing it!

  • laughriotgirl

    @Riker: This past session (can’t comment on previous ones) we were making noise about it. ESPA and the NY state trans groups became oddly silent on GENDA the second it and marriage went to the Senate – literally NOTHING. Hard to keep a ball rolling when the folks who are paid to advocate and keep the masses informed overlook stop doing that part of it… or make a decision that the movement can only handle one thing at a time.

  • xander

    Domestic assistants such as housekeepers are often contract workers rather than employees, per se, so non-discrimination regs on gender ID, S.O., etc. won’t always provide full protection, even where such laws exist.

    (A g.q. lesbian cousin—not in NY, though—was let go from a similar job and was unable to file a suit. I’m no attorney, but she did get help from the local LGBT agency)

    That said, GENDA needs to be passed in NY and beyond. Marriage equality was a wonderful win there, but non-discrim. in employment will effect so many more people.

  • Fitz

    I’m still sort of shocked that someone could be so stupid. Do you know how hard it is to find a halfway decent housekeeper? Someone who only uses the products you approve of, and doesn’t leave your dog locked in the den? If you find someone, I don’t think you should give a care about these personal details. Just pay them and praise them, and hope they never move away.

  • Aiden

    @Riker: You probably mean they as I’m sure you’ve done nothing.

  • Riker

    @Aiden: This past 6 months i’ve donated money to MENY (not much, but what I could afford), worked a phone bank, stuffed envelopes, called and had face-to-face meetings with state senators, went around with a petition and spoken with members of the local Republican committee about supporting marriage equality. What did you do again?

  • Riker

    @laughriotgirl: Next session we won’t have that issue. Sorry, it may not be right but that’s politics. If the people running your organizations are incompetent, stop donating to them and start your own. Transpeople need to advocate for their own interests. Gays will help out where we can, but you need to take matters into your own hands.

  • Sandy

    LOL! Is there a greater fail of a writer than Dan Villarreal? Mr. Villarreal blesses us with his legal expertise, informing us that “seeing as New York state and the U.S. have no employee protections for trans employees, she doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on to sue for discrimination.” Now at this point in his thought process, had he been imbued with a modicum of professionalism, Mr. Villarreal’s curiosity might have been piqued as to how this former employee could have filed suit for discrimination. Had this trans woman included a doomed discrimination claim as some kind of symbolic act? Were there additional facts of which he was unaware? Or was it just possible that his legal conclusion wrong?

    Now assuming that he had such professional curiosity, and had he been a real journalist, he would have picked up the phone and called the woman’s lawyer, who is named in the article, and found out more about the discrimination claim. But that would have violated longstanding Queerty tradition of doing no original reporting, copying the work of real journalists, and then managing to royally screw up the cut-and-paste. If Mr. Villarreal had taken 5 minutes to look into it, he would have learned that the City of New York, where this dispute arose, has an anti-discrimination law that specifically covers gender identity. Indeed, the City’s law gives a successful “trans” plaintiff more remedies than the proposed, but as-yet unenacted state law. So Mr. Villarreal once again manages to come to a totally erroneous conclusion and thus misinform his readers. At least this time, his professional screw-up won’t cause real injury to gay people and be highlighted on NOM’s blog and on the Family Research Council website, as happened some weeks ago. For that, we are grateful.

    And right behind Villarreal in the category of “fail” are the trans activist commenters. How funny that not one of these frothing wolves, who never cease to lecture gay people on how “trans folk” are oppressed, knew that this woman was covered by the City’s anti-discrimination law. Their ignorance is even more remarkable since their fellow trans activist thugs helped draft it and the compliance guidelines that followed. Not even the dim bulb who posts under the name of Missanthrope got it. And Missanthrope is running for Congress in Arizona next year, according to her prior writings. Missanthrope, how are you going to win those dozen votes if you don’t have a mastery of the issues? You won’t be able to win on your looks, you know.

  • Christine Boyd

    @Fitz: Totally agree with you on this. Some housekeepers are plain users, especially when their bosses are not around. They should be thankful, but alas! They did otherwise. And I’ll borrow this from this blog’s author,”good housekeeping has no gender. And good help is so hard to find these days.”

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