Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund has filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon's Hebron, Kentucky shipping facility on behalf of Allegra Schawe-Lane and Dane Lane, a married couple who faced cruel and persistent anti-transgender discrimination.
After her Amazon colleagues learned that Allegra is a transgender woman, Allegra and Dane were targeted with vicious slurs and threats, pornography and sexual propositions. When they complained, they endured retaliation and were told that they were not allowed to make complaints in writing. While driving home one day from the secure Amazon parking lot, they had a problem with the brakes on their car, and learned from their mechanic that the brake line was intentionally severed, putting the couple at significant risk of serious injury or death.
"My husband Dane and I were devoted to our jobs. In return, we were treated atrociously by our co-workers and our bosses, simply because I am a woman,” said Allegra Schawe-Lane. “No one deserves to be singled out and abused the way we were."
"The trauma we withstood still impacts us negatively today, creating serious health problems and leaving us with no money to pay for the doctors we desperately need. We are filing this lawsuit to ensure that no other transgender person or their spouse ever face such job discrimination at Amazon in the future," added Allegra.
“My wife Allegra and I could never have imagined the pain and heartache we would experience at Amazon. The abuse inflicted on us was unimaginable and we are still suffering from the detrimental effects,” said Dane Lane. “We both have a host of physical and mental difficulties including serious anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. We continue to pay a huge price for Amazon allowing bigotry to go unchecked.
"A multi-billion dollar corporation like Amazon can surely take action to ensure this kind of horrendous discrimination never happens there again,” said Dane.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found evidence that substantiated these violations of the federal Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
This campaign for Allegra & Dane will help defray the expenses of litigation borne by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, which is providing legal services and costs for their lawsuit. This will help pay filing fees, costs for process servers, transcript costs, and nonprofit lawyers, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
This case will show employers, even the largest ones, and even ones whose corporate offices are supportive of transgender people, that they cannot allow transgender employees to be exposed to severe and pervasive harassment in any of their facilities and expect to get away with it.
“This lawsuit sends a strong message. No one should ever be subjected to job discrimination on the basis of their sex or disability,” said Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Executive Director, Jillian Weiss.
“All Americans deserve an equal chance to work hard and earn a living for themselves and their families, without fear of being targeted for being themselves,” she added.
“We are particularly disheartened about this discrimination at Amazon, given the impact of its highly celebrated digital series, Transparent, a groundbreaking program on Amazon Prime that continues to win awards for depicting the transgender experience in a positive, sensitive and multi-dimensional manner."
"In fact," said Ms. Weiss, "Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund even honored Transparent at its Freedom Awards Benefit in 2015,” Weiss said. “While we in no way connect this case to the program and its talented writers, actors and producers, we do call on Amazon to examine the disconnect between the message of its hit show Transparent and the discrimination perpetrated against Allegra and Dane at Amazon’s Hebron, Kentucky shipping facility.”
TLDEF is filing this complaint through local counsel Amanda R. Walker of the Zoppoth Law Firm in Louisville, Kentucky. The case is Dane Lane and Allegra Schawe-Lane v. Amazon.com.KYDC LLC.
An answer is expected from Amazon in 30 days after filing. The parties will then exchange information designed to show the facts of Allegra & Dane's case and Amazon's defenses.
All donations to Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible, and will used to defray the expenses of litigation for Allegra & Dane, subject to the terms and conditions of CrowdJustice.com
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