A transgender woman named Erin Taylor has filed a lawsuit against the downtown Chick-fil-A (CFA) in Decatur, Georgia, alleging sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation, and retaliation by the employer.
Taylor, who is Black, claims to have been fired for being transgender and says owner Joe Engert responded to Taylor’s concerns about another employee’s lewd comments by saying Taylor should take the remarks as a compliment.
Erin Taylor Sues Chick-fil-A
Erin Taylor’s lawsuit, submitted on June 29, 2022, was filed under the name Aaron White since Taylor’s name has not yet legally been changed, reports Law & Crime. According to the suit, Taylor started at Chick-fil-A on August 23, 2021, and began training to be a director of operations.
“On their first day of training, Plaintiff was immediately targeted by another employee by the name of Sammy Canady, a Team Member at this location,” says the suit, which records highly offensive sexual comments that Canady allegedly made toward Taylor, such as, “On God, I will f*** the s*** out of you.”
Taylor reported Canady’s behavior to the shift manager, who referred Taylor to the restaurant owner, Joe Engert. Engert and the kitchen director met with Taylor on August 27, 2021. “During the meeting,” says the suit, “Plaintiff informed them that she is transgender. Plaintiff went forward in the conversation explaining what had been said to her by Sammy. The Franchise Owner responded by saying that it should be an honor that with Plaintiff being a transgender woman that someone liked her enough to hit on her.” Engert also implied that Taylor might bear some responsibility for the situation.
After this meeting, Engert and a director of operations met with Canady. “After the meeting Sammy resumed taunting Plaintiff,” says the suit, “but this time with homophobic remarks in front of other team members and shift managers.” These comments included, “On God, I’m not with that gay s***” and “Hell nah, I’ll beat that gay n**** a**.”
The suit implies that Engert outed Taylor to Canady and says that after these events, the harassment continued and was perpetuated by other employees. Canady faced no repercussions, and Taylor stopped receiving training necessary to be a director of operations.
Taylor was fired on November 1, 2021, allegedly for leaving a shift early. “This is not true,” says the suit. “Plaintiff had been harassed by a Shift Lead and had been approved to leave the restaurant for that shift.” Another reason given by the defendant for Taylor’s firing was that Taylor had been late for a shift. But the suit claims that two employees who were directors of operations had been tardy in the past and had not been fired.