Transgender worker files discrimination lawsuit

A transgender woman is suing a popular hotel near Disney for what she says is discrimination.

Gina Versace was born a man, but identifies as female.

In 2005, she says she got a court order to legally become a woman.

At the time she was working for the Swan and Dolphin hotel at Walt Disney World and asked human resources for confidentiality, but also a new identification card and updated employee information regarding the change.

Versace says the Starwood-owned hotel did not keep her transformation confidential and noticed a change in attitude toward her.

“For seven year, there was daily abuse because of my gender identity, including misgendering with the wrong male pronoun,” she said… “Wicked facial expressions, verbal threats to the point I thought I might get killed.”

Versace also said she went from getting overtime to virtually no hours. She also said when she did work, she wasn’t allowed to use the women’s bathroom.

After filing complaints with Starwood management and turning to state and federal agencies, Versace says she believes she was fired for trying to get help.

Versace has hired attorneys Matt Morgan and Carlos Leach.

Right now, her lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Starwood released this statement:

"Starwood did not discriminate in any way against this former employee. In fact, the allegations of discrimination were investigated by the Florida Commission on Human Relations in 2013 and the agency found there was no reason to believe that any discrimination had occurred. Starwood Hotels strongly believes in and maintains a culture of inclusiveness for our associates."

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