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Transgender Woman Suing Hotel Chain For Sex Discrimination

Kimberly Grinage worked for the hotel chain Extended Stay America. Grinage claimed her supervisor Matthew Figurski asked her whether she was a Christian during the interview process. She responded, “yes” and did not mention her gender identity. Sometime after she began working, Grinage started dressing according to her female gender identity, wearing clothes typically associated with women. When she wore female clothing, she claimed her co-workers made fun of her. After she complained to her hotel’s management, Figurski allegedly responded, “I can’t help you. I don’t want a transgender person here. If you are going to do that, I have to get rid of you.” When Grinage called the company’s hotline to notify them about her working environment, Figurski allegedly told her to retract her report. He purportedly made comments to her at least a couple of times per week after her complaint, such as “Stop acting like a girl,” “You look like a fag,” and “Dress like a guy.” He also asked her to rate the physical appearance of women coming into the hotel. When she refused, he allegedly said, “you’re a guy, you are supposed to know when girls are pretty.”

Figurski allegedly told Grinage she should be fired because of her sexual orientation, and he thought she was a Christian. He also purportedly said he would not have hired her if he had known about her transgender status and sexual orientation. Grinage claimed Figurski said he would find a way to fire her and fired her just four days later. The hotel told Grinage they fired her because she failed to call the police to respond to an incident, and a customer complained about her clothes and COVID-19 mask. Grinage claimed Figurski previously instructed her not to call the police. Grinage stated she is immunocompromised and wore a special mask to protect her from COVID-19. She asserted any adverse employment action taken against her based on her mask was disability discrimination. Extended Stay America has not yet commented on the lawsuit.