Utah’s justice system loves injustice! The Tenth Circuit court decided that Utah’s Transit Authority did nothing wrong when it fired transgendered worker, Krystal Etsitty.
Born a man, Krystal began hormone therapy four years before UTA hired her as a substitute driver. While working in that capacity, Etsitty – and other drivers – use public bathrooms.
In those initial weaks, Etsitty used the men’s room. As she settled into her new job, however, she met with her supervisor Pat Chatterson to get things straight.
During that meeting, Etsitty told Atterson she planned on becoming a woman. Chatterson offered his unconditional support, thus leading Etsitty to believe the state-run agency supported her decision. They didn’t.
Eager to start living the life she’s dreamed of, Etsitty began wearing make up, jewelry and acrylic nails to work. Upon hearing rumors of Etsitty’s cross dressing, operations manager Betty Shirley set up a meeting with Etsitty and a human resources director, Bruce Cardon. After Etsitty explained her situation – she lacked the money to have final surgery – Shirley expressed her concern that UTA may be liable if Etsitty’s caught using the women’s bathroom. Even worse, what if Etsitty switched back-and-forth between genders? What a scandal!
Unable to come to decision where they should stand, Cardon and Shirley put Etsitty on administrative leave, but soon gave her the ax. Shirley said UTA feared being held accountable for Etsitty’s potty breaks, while Cardon lamented the agency’s inability to accomodate her needs. Both admitted Etsitty’s trans status influenced their decision.
Despite all this evidence, the Tenth District ruled in UTA’s favor, saying,
…There is no evidence in the record of any “weaknesses, implausibilities, inconsistencies, incoherence, or contradictions” in UTA’s asserted legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for Etsitty’s termination.
Citing cases from 1977, 1982 and 1984 and the court rules that Etsitty’s trans status doesn’t qualify her a “special class” and, therefore, is not protected under equality laws.
See why we need ENDA?
Read the entire ruling in this pdf!