Georgia Carter was ecstatic when she landed a job at a KFC in Richmond, Virginia. “I went to my boyfriend and said I have a job,” Carter told WRIC. “I am an active member of society. I was so happy.”
"You have got the job,” Carter recalled the manager saying. “‘I am going to start you out at $7.50 an hour. It is yours. We are going start you training on the computer tomorrow.”
However, Carter claims the offer was rescinded less than an hour later when the manager realized she’s transgender. “He was like ‘my supervisor and I have a problem because on your license it says male but you’re’ … I said ‘I’m transgender.’”
Carter said the manager claimed that she couldn’t have the job because they were unsure which bathroom she would use. However, the manager claims he never offered her a job, that it was simply an interview, but that he would reconsider if she legally changed her gender on her driver’s license.
Hiring discrimination based on gender identity is not illegal in the state of Virginia, The Advocate reported. However, in 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe protected state workers from discrimination on the basis of both their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Experiences like Carter's aren’t uncommon within the transgender community. According to the Human Rights Campaign, six studies between 1996 and 2006 found up to 56 percent transgender people experienced some form of employment discrimination, including being fired, harassment or being denied promotions. “Though even more difficult to measure, transgender people also face incredible barriers as job applicants,” Human Rights Campaign writes on their website.
KFC’s corporate office has yet to respond to Carter’s allegations.