Shaun Simmons, a transgender man, has filed a federal lawsuit against Amazon alleging the company discriminated against him after he became pregnant. Simmons was a warehouse worker for the online behemoth before he was fired.
The lawsuit also names two of his former supervisors. Simmons alleges that the two outed him to other employees, spurring more harassment and discrimination from his co-workers.
Simmons claims that after he informed his supervisors that he was pregnant, they began to criticize his work performance in an attempt to demote him. His co-workers, he said, verbally abused and harassed him and once confronted him in the bathroom.
After he complained to human resources, he was placed on paid leave. But when he returned he was assigned to lift heavy objects like large bags of dog food. When he asked for a different position due to his pregnancy, he was placed on leave again and required to submit verification from his doctor that he was actually pregnant before he was allowed to return to work.
He says he was also denied a promotion to another facility where he could have escaped harassment.
Simmons is suing for harassment based on gender, pregnancy discrimination, failure to accommodate a medical condition, and retaliation. He is suing his former supervisors for “aiding and abetting discrimination.”
He seeks reinstatement to his job, back pay, restoration of lost benefits, legal fees and costs, and expungement of his employment record with Amazon.
In 2017, a married couple who worked at a warehouse in Kentucky sued Amazon for anti-trans discrimination and harassment.
The couple’s complaint alleged that they were the targets of slurs and sexual harassment. She was called “shemale” and “crossdresser,” and he received crude comments about their sex life. Both of them were called “faggots.” Employees looked over the stall divider when she used the bathroom. Coworkers threatened to beat them up.
When they filed a complaint with the company, their supervisors were told to “watch them closely.”