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OKBud

Suing because of a lack of gender-neutral toilets

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https://www.wweek.com/news/2018/11/07/a-transgender-powells-employee-says-the-bookstore-refused-to-designate-a-gender-neutral-restroom-in-its-corporate-office/?fbclid=IwAR0losT8mOKnQTL1d4b0YoZ2zunWVbyr2XT5xy84YwSvNE9WL4F_3nytWoE

 

I was going to just pop this in the current being-raised-gender-neutral thread but I realized it was ELEVEN pages long (and not closed. good work, team) 

So, they are essentially suing because they couldn't get a restroom all to themselves. Additionally, but not pertinent to the lawsuit as far as I can tell, they are mad that co-workers organize "girls lunches" and don't invite them:

According to the article, the office installed a gender-neutral restroom three months after they began work there (and presumably asked for one to be installed), but they are unhappy anyway. 

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that this is at corporate headquarters, so it's a bit of a white collar issue, as it were. 

 

Edited to change "girls nights" to "girls lunches". My mistake.

Edited by OKBud

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Let me just state upfront that as an extremely privileged  person prone to complaining, I also prefer single-person (or family) toilets for all. It is just so nice to make water or change a pad all by yourself! 

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I have to say, by the time I got down to the complaining about having to work phones instead of comes to a ladies luncheon, my eyes were about done rolling into the back of my head.  And oh no, people don’t want to talk to you for fear of misgendering you - when you’re the person who is suing over bathrooms it seems like a legit concern from the coworkers, TBH.

 

sheeesh.

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2 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

I have to say, by the time I got down to the complaining about having to work phones instead of comes to a ladies luncheon, my eyes were about done rolling into the back of my head.  And oh no, people don’t want to talk to you for fear of misgendering you - when you’re the person who is suing over bathrooms-THAT THE COMPANY SPECIFICALLY CREATED FOR YOU BEFORE YOU SUED- it seems like a legit concern from the coworkers, TBH.

 

sheeesh.

Fixed that for you 😁

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Honestly, it's not as bad as the transwoman suing women beauticians in Canada (16 of them, at last count) for refusing to wax her male genitalia, on the basis that they don't offer the service. Actually, she's not suing, she's extorting - offering that if the women pay her thousands of dollars in compensation, she'll withdraw his complaint to the British ColumbiaHuman Rights Commision or somesuch. At least one of the women works out of her home - but apparently identity trumps a female worker's right to be safe in her workplace and home, and her right to boundaries around which genitals she touches.So far as I am aware, genital waxing is not a human right (the person involved could have gone to a salon which offered male waxing in any case). I mean, she's just a nasty person - it's the fact that her complaint can be taken seriously by the state that is deeply worrying.

Re toilets - I think that is a valid concern for transexual people. My personal preference in small businesses is for one or two mixed sex single loo, with floor to ceiling lockable door, with a basin and sanitary disposal inside. That's what we have at the bookshop dh works at, and the coffee shop my friend owns, and it is perfectly fine and usable for all.

You can't sue people for not wanting to be your friend; however, a hostile work environment is not on. Professional courtesy is generally required. Difficult people in the workplace is not a trans specific concept - I was trained to deal with the issue back in '96 in a totally un-LBGT environment. Co-workers should not, of course, feel afraid to escalate to HR if the difficult person is too much to handle. Trans people should be free to escalate also. I can imagine genuinely hostile work environments. 

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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And honestly ? Bigger businesses should just make the switch to single sex provision + mixed sex provision. People who don't want to go into the loo for their sex can use mixed sex; apparently there are many women and progressive people who are totally A OK with mixed sex provision from a safety, privacy and dignity perspective, so presumably they will use it too, reducing stigma around mixed sex loos. "Non binary" people can feel reassured that in using mixed sex, nobody can tell they are actually binary! Men and women who require single sex are then also catered for. Win for everyone.

So yeah, single lockable cubicles with everything needed inside the cubicle and doors that actually allow privacy, or single sex + mixed sex provision. 

With the caveat that yes, I know people have been making the ladies 'mixed sex' for years, and yes, there's nothing much to be done about it other than to make polite requests that they don't, and yes, passing transwomen are not likely to be noticed, and no, transpeople don't have a greater propensity for violence than others of their sex (kinda the point) and everyone has to pee, and no, I won't manhandle a non passing tranwoman out of the single sex loos, just feel deeply uncomfortable and due to my female socialisation, say nothing, and yes, the case of post op transexual transwomen is slightly different imo, but another woman's 'no' trumps my 'OK'. Phew. Bet i still get called a transphobe 🙂

Edited by StellaM
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Ii don't know that there is a way to please everyone.  We had to move out of our office complex to temporary office trailers during remodeling.  One of my female coworkers was extremely upset that there was talk of making the two individual bathrooms in the trailer (each with its own locking door) unisex rather than designating one as male and one as female.  She complained and complained about the possibility of having to use a toilet or wash her hands in a sink where a male had previously been.  (I thought it was a bit odd given that she is married and has two college-aged sons; I wondered if she had her own exclusive bathroom at home that was off limits to all of them.)

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It seems this person specifically wants to be neither male nor female, so should not be upset they are not invited to ladies functions.

What's more, its normal in an office environment to not be invited to every lunch with co-workers.  We have very few girls in our office. But sometimes a group of them go out for lunch without inviting me. and other times I do get invited.

And I'd feel awkward and not really want to chit chat socially with someone who wants me to use different grammar than I grew up with and I was afraid was going to get upset (And maybe report me to HR!) if I didn't say things the way they wanted me to.

 

(We have two one-stall toilets on each floor of our work. They are labeled "ladies" on one and "Men" on the other -- or something like that. But I KNOW there are men using my toilet because sometimes I go to the restroom and its locked -- and I'm the only female on this floor!  When its urgent, I go down the hallway and use the Mens toilet instead. When its one person at a time, it really doesn't matter that much (Though theirs is dirtier!)

Edited by vonfirmath
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4 minutes ago, jdahlquist said:

Ii don't know that there is a way to please everyone.  We had to move out of our office complex to temporary office trailers during remodeling.  One of my female coworkers was extremely upset that there was talk of making the two individual bathrooms in the trailer (each with its own locking door) unisex rather than designating one as male and one as female.  She complained and complained about the possibility of having to use a toilet or wash her hands in a sink where a male had previously been.  (I thought it was a bit odd given that she is married and has two college-aged sons; I wondered if she had her own exclusive bathroom at home that was off limits to all of them.)

 

Sharing with family is a bit different to sharing with colleagues and clients.

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11 minutes ago, jdahlquist said:

Ii don't know that there is a way to please everyone.  We had to move out of our office complex to temporary office trailers during remodeling.  One of my female coworkers was extremely upset that there was talk of making the two individual bathrooms in the trailer (each with its own locking door) unisex rather than designating one as male and one as female.  She complained and complained about the possibility of having to use a toilet or wash her hands in a sink where a male had previously been.  (I thought it was a bit odd given that she is married and has two college-aged sons; I wondered if she had her own exclusive bathroom at home that was off limits to all of them.)

 

That's VERY weird. Lots of places just have one toilet. But while you're in there, you're by yourself behind a locked door. 

She obviously doesn't shop at Trader Joes LOL 🤣

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In theory I really have no issues with unisex bathrooms.  Many places have always had them and it was just called the bathroom cause they only had one.

In places that are more heavily populated I prefer a womens only.  It seems to me that men are not as careful in public toilets as they may be required to be at home.  I have just been totally grossed out.  Another issue that I noticed recently was that the men were getting impatient waiting on the women to get done and put on their lipstick and fluff the hair so maybe they want their own that they can get in and out of without being inconvenienced.  LOL

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1 hour ago, StellaM said:

And honestly ? Bigger businesses should just make the switch to single sex provision + mixed sex provision. People who don't want to go into the loo for their sex can use mixed sex; apparently there are many women and progressive people who are totally A OK with mixed sex provision from a safety, privacy and dignity perspective, so presumably they will use it too, reducing stigma around mixed sex loos. "Non binary" people can feel reassured that in using mixed sex, nobody can tell they are actually binary! Men and women who require single sex are then also catered for. Win for everyone.

So yeah, single lockable cubicles with everything needed inside the cubicle and doors that actually allow privacy, or single sex + mixed sex provision. 

With the caveat that yes, I know people have been making the ladies 'mixed sex' for years, and yes, there's nothing much to be done about it other than to make polite requests that they don't, and yes, passing transwomen are not likely to be noticed, and no, transpeople don't have a greater propensity for violence than others of their sex (kinda the point) and everyone has to pee, and no, I won't manhandle a non passing tranwoman out of the single sex loos, just feel deeply uncomfortable and due to my female socialisation, say nothing, and yes, the case of post op transexual transwomen is slightly different imo, but another woman's 'no' trumps my 'OK'. Phew. Bet i still get called a transphobe 🙂

 

Pretty sure divas come in every gender and combination thereof.

Edited by Seasider too
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I saw a news article about a transwoman suing Dallas jailer over being forced to show her private parts so they could determine whether to put her in female or male jail. I am sure this has been discussed here a lot but I was wondering as I read it what in the world are law enforcement expected to do?  Seems they can't win....

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2 minutes ago, OKBud said:

 

That's VERY weird. Lots of places just have one toilet. But while you're in there, you're by yourself behind a locked door. 

She obviously doesn't shop at Trader Joes LOL 🤣

 

Our shop loo is always pretty clean. There is loo cleaner, a brush, air freshener, soap, towels, bin, sanitary bin, a mirror for checking your hair or your lippy - I think maybe  the shop just has employees who are all invested in having a nice clean place to pee!

 

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3 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

Pretty sure divas come in every gender and combination there of.Pretty sure divas come in every gender and combination thereof.

 

Sorry, I don't understand what this refers to in my post. You might have to explain a bit more 🙂

 

 

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Yes this is extortion as someone said above.

I know slippery slope is an unpopular concept here, but honestly.  Once people like this get what they say they want, it's hunky dory for a day and then they find something else wrong.  So this person who is not a woman is suing because co-workers doesn't consider "them" a woman.  But if they had called this person a woman, "they"'d probably sue for that.  (Sorry, I can't get used to calling an individual "they.")  What if this person refers to a co-worker as "they," does she get to sue?  The possibilities are endless.  People can't function this way.

At some point individuals need to learn how to live in the world.

PS I have no problem with separate unisex bathrooms.  The cost to convert would be too much for many businesses, but if building new or remodeling, I'm for unisex all the way.  But as we can see, that doesn't solve the problem when individuals think the world is there to cater to their whims.  (And yes, I think expecting to be called "they" and also treated as a "she" is a whim.)

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I saw a news article about a transwoman suing Dallas jailer over being forced to show her private parts so they could determine whether to put her in female or male jail. I am sure this has been discussed here a lot but I was wondering as I read it what in the world are law enforcement expected to do?  Seems they can't win....

 

I don't think anyone should be forced to show their genitals!! 

 

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Just now, StellaM said:

 

I don't think anyone should be forced to show their genitals!! 

 

Prisoners gets stripped searched all of the time. But regardless, one way or the other prisoners will be complaining about where they are put or who is put in there with them.  I am sure some would be fearful for their safety.

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Prisoners gets stripped searched all of the time. But regardless, one way or the other prisoners will be complaining about where they are put or who is put in there with them.  I am sure some would be fearful for their safety.

 

Was it part of a strip search ? It sounded like it wasn't, and was more of a 'drop your dacks and let's take a look'. Either would be humiliating, but at least the strip search doesn't single the person out on their trans basis.

This situation, though is an argument for not being able to amend things like birth certificates. I personally believe the transwomen should be held in a third space; not with men, for their own safety, and not with women, for women's safety. Safety is all that matters here, not validating one's identity. IMO. Said too much, waiting to be jumped on now.

 

Edited by StellaM
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5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Was it part of a strip search ? It sounded like it wasn't, and was more of a 'drop your dacks and let's take a look'. Either would be humiliating, but at least the strip search doesn't single the person out on their trans basis.

This situation, though is an argument for not being able to amend things like birth certificates. I personally believe the transwomen should be held in a third space; not with men, for their own safety, and not with women, for women's safety. Safety is all that matters here, not validating one's identity. IMO. Said too much, waiting to be jumped on now.

 

That makes sense to me too. 

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34 minutes ago, jdahlquist said:

Ii don't know that there is a way to please everyone.  We had to move out of our office complex to temporary office trailers during remodeling.  One of my female coworkers was extremely upset that there was talk of making the two individual bathrooms in the trailer (each with its own locking door) unisex rather than designating one as male and one as female.  She complained and complained about the possibility of having to use a toilet or wash her hands in a sink where a male had previously been.  (I thought it was a bit odd given that she is married and has two college-aged sons; I wondered if she had her own exclusive bathroom at home that was off limits to all of them.)

 

I think this might have more to do with her expecting the men's room to be rather more disgusting than the ladies' room. My dh works in a male-dominated industry, and this holds true there. The females are quite adamant about separate bathrooms, and I can't say that I blame them, having had the dubious pleasure of seeing a couple of the men's rooms and hearing countless stories. Your male co-workers might be more polite but I'm guessing that's her reason. 

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Just now, katilac said:

 

I think this might have more to do with her expecting the men's room to be rather more disgusting than the ladies' room. My dh works in a male-dominated industry, and this holds true there. The females are quite adamant about separate bathrooms, and I can't say that I blame them, having had the dubious pleasure of seeing a couple of the men's rooms and hearing countless stories. Your male co-workers might be more polite but I'm guessing that's her reason. 

I have a feeling in smaller offices that men would behave more if they knew their female co workers would be using the bathroom after them.  Maybe not though.  And I have seen some disgusting women's bathrooms.  

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Just now, Scarlett said:

I have a feeling in smaller offices that men would behave more if they knew their female co workers would be using the bathroom after them.  Maybe not though.  And I have seen some disgusting women's bathrooms.  

 

Yeah. In our bookshop bathroom, there's only ever two people working there. If the bloke messes up the bathroom and doesn't clean up, the woman knows, and he knows she knows, and the embarassment factor is probably enough to make sure they both keep it clean!

I hear the thing about women's loos all the time, but I've never actually seen a filthy women's loo. 

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Ladies, if it's OK for people to sue for mixed sex bathroom provision, do you reckon it's OK to sue for single sex provision ?

I have zero problem with mixed sex being available, given the above paramenters of safety and privacy, but I really hate going into big institutions where there is no singe sex provision, and no single cubicle mixed sex except the disabled loo, which I wouldn't use out of politeness to disabled users (mental health centre and gallery in the last week!) 

I have no money to sue anyone, but I'm interested to know, if in the interests of toileting safety and dignity, anyone reckons a single sex thing would get up ?

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45 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I don't think anyone should be forced to show their genitals!! 

 

It was my understanding that all prisoners are strip searched.

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

I have a feeling in smaller offices that men would behave more if they knew their female co workers would be using the bathroom after them.  Maybe not though.  And I have seen some disgusting women's bathrooms.  

 

 One would hope! I can identify with her reluctance, though, simply because so many people on this board complain about the males in their family peeing all over creation even at their house. And I honestly think your idea of "disgusting" pales in comparison to these men's rights. Like, I truly doubt you can imagine, lol, it's that gross. 

I read the article. I think the employee in question wanted too much, too fast. The office had a men's room and a ladies' room, very typical, and had a gender-neutral bathroom within THREE MONTHS of their employment. That's very responsive, imo. And were they "forced" to walk across the street to a gender-neutral bathroom, or did they choose to do so rather than use the men's room or ladies' room? My bet is that they were welcome to use those restrooms and chose not to. Lots of jobs don't have ready access to restrooms all the time, lots of workers try not to drink too much for that reason, that's not an unusual problem. At my old office, when the receptionist had to go, she had to wait for someone to be able to cover the phones for her, and that could take a while. Yes, she had to be quick about it. My dd regularly worked 5-hour shifts with no bathroom break over the summer.  She would have been delighted to get ten minutes to walk across the street, go up the stairs, and come back again. Racing the clock to use the restroom does not equal horrific working conditions.

The lunch: well, someone does have to stay back and answer the phones, were they lowest on the ladder (last hired)? Did the other employees' term it a ladies' lunch or is that their term? Could they have planned another lunch with someone else manning the phones? We're not necessarily getting the entire story. And I've worked in offices, sometimes you will get slighted, sometimes others will get unmerited bonus treatment, it's something you have to deal with. EVERYONE has to deal with it, and you handle it carefully (if at all) if you want to progress in your career. And co-workers don't have to like you or talk to you. Co-workers aren't automatically comfortable about everything related to you (not restricted to LGBTQ). If you think the reason is fear of misgendering you, why not give it time? It's hard for me to put much merit into the complaints of someone who has been there for three months. 

I do think it can be very counter-productive when companies or other organizations that do a lot and are open to doing more are still called out and still get bad publicity. They weren't there long enough and didn't make enough effort of their own, imo, to give much credence to their complaints. And of course the company can't fully respond because of privacy issues. 

I did get a laugh out of "Brewer doesn't plan on staying much longer at Powell's." I should hope not, honey! 

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1 minute ago, KidsHappen said:

It was my understanding that all prisoners are strip searched.

Yeah I assumed it was a separate thing to the strip searching that everyone goes through ie before the strip search.

 

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2 minutes ago, KidsHappen said:

It was my understanding that all prisoners are strip searched.

 

Not necessarily for the local jail or holding cell. Definitely not in my neck of the woods. Strip searching every drinker and fighter who gets picked up on Saturday night would be a time-consuming business, lol. 

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I just read about the ladies lunch. Hold on, Freddy! You're male, and not transgender, just - present as neither maculine or feminine ? - and you were sad not to get invited to the ladies lunch ?? I mean, c'mon, at least if this was a transwomen, that would make some kind of sense. You don't want to be known as a lady, so they respect you by not inviting you to the ladies lunch ? This is a complaint anyone could take seriously ??

Loos are one thing. All workers should be able to attend to bodily functions (seriously, dude, use the men's until they could make your own loo WHICH THEY DID!). But ladies lunches for people are not female and don't ID as a lady ? I suppose they want ladies lunches outlawed

Edited by StellaM
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1 minute ago, StellaM said:

I just read about the ladies lunch. Hold on, Freddy! You're male, and not transgender, just - present as neither maculine or feminine ? - and you were sad not to get invited to the ladies lunch ?? I mean, c'mon, at least if this was a transwomen, that would make some kind of sense. You don't want to be known as a lady, so they respect you by not inviting you to the ladies lunch ? This is a complaint anyone could take seriously ??

Loos are one thing. All workers should be able to attend to bodily functions (seriously, dude, use the men's until they could make your own loo WHICH THEY DID!). But ladies lunches for people are not female and don't ID as a lady ? I suppose they want ladies lunches outlawed

But this person likes margaritas and Mexican food too! So it’s unfaaaair

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The single valid complaint I can see, if true, is demands for HIV status disclosure, if that is indeed illegal. In fact, that's the story. The rest is guff.

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Complex issues aside, that article is every reason why the show Portlandia exists.

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1 minute ago, EmseB said:

Complex issues aside, that article is every reason why the show Portlandia exists.

 

accurate

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1 hour ago, StellaM said:

 

Sorry, I don't understand what this refers to in my post. You might have to explain a bit more 🙂

 

 

 

Oops for the double post - voice texting. 

I was just commenting that aside from pursuing fair bathroom policies - some people are self centered and difficult to please not matter what - regardless of gender. Let me look back and see what specifically in your post caused me to quote you....

I see, I meant to quote your other post about the person suing salons for declining to perform waxing services, in which you also commented about lunch invitations, etc. I was just musing that there’s a whole realm of such sulkiness that can be found across the gender spectrum - it’s just human behavior. Sorry to have confused. 

Edited by Seasider too
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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

I saw a news article about a transwoman suing Dallas jailer over being forced to show her private parts so they could determine whether to put her in female or male jail. I am sure this has been discussed here a lot but I was wondering as I read it what in the world are law enforcement expected to do?  Seems they can't win....

My bold. Yeah, that's the point. It's the same with the new, ever moving goal posts, language rules, you can't win. The End game is that everyone shuts up and capitulates. Controlling bullies love this tactic.

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There is a lot of misinformation in this thread. 🙄

First of all, Brewer is not "suing" anyone, they filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity Commission and the state Bureau of Labor. The first complaint was filed in August and the second was filed in October. The gender-neutral bathroom was installed in October, well after the first complaint was filed, and there is no indication in the article as to whether the bathroom was installed before or after the October complaint. Snarky comments about Brewer "suing over a bathroom that was specifically built for you before you sued" are BS — there is no lawsuit, and at least one of the complaints (and possibly both) was filed long before the bathroom was installed.

The complaint about the so-called "ladies lunch" refers to an instance in which the ENTIRE rest of the accounting department, which includes 9 women plus Brewer, went out to lunch and specifically excluded the only non-female member. How would people respond if, in a department of 9 men and 1 woman, all the men in the department went out to lunch together and told the lone woman she had to stay behind and answer the phones because it was a "men's lunch"? Maybe the reason Brewer was asked to stay behind did have to do with seniority, or it was simply their turn to answer the phone or whatever, but if it's true that the lunch was specifically referred to as a "ladies lunch" as a way of excluding the ONLY nonfemale member of the department, then Brewer had every right to complain.

Another reason for the complaint was that Powell's allegedly demanded that Brewer provide evidence of their HIV status, which is totally illegal. If it's true that someone in HR did that, then that is absolutely grounds for complaint.

I love Powell's books, they are one of my favorite places on earth, and I know they are generally very supportive of LGBTQ rights. Maybe Brewer is just an obnoxious pain in the ass. But the immediate rush to judgment in this thread, and snarky comments about "people like this," and references to nonexistent lawsuits, and claims that Brewer wanted to be "called a woman" (totally untrue) suggest that some people are just looking for an excuse to tut-tut about how ridiculous trans people are. 

Edited by Corraleno
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4 hours ago, Seasider too said:

 

Oops for the double post - voice texting. 

I was just commenting that aside from pursuing fair bathroom policies - some people are self centered and difficult to please not matter what - regardless of gender. Let me look back and see what specifically in your post caused me to quote you....

I see, I meant to quote your other post about the person suing salons for declining to perform waxing services, in which you also commented about lunch invitations, etc. I was just musing that there’s a whole realm of such sulkiness that can be found across the gender spectrum - it’s just human behavior. Sorry to have confused. 

 

Oh I see! I wouldn't call it sulkiness, it's quite vicious to accuse 16 women of human rights violations for not waxing your ****. But yes, that's why I said

I mean, she's just a nasty person - it's the fact that her complaint can be taken seriously by the state that is deeply worrying.

with the unstated implication that the actual problem isn't the person, because nasty people exist everywhere - and I think I also made the point that being a difficult work colleague had nothing to do with being LBGT ? 

Having said that, it does seem to be these males who are feeling rather entitled! Hth.

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31 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

There is a lot of misinformation in this thread. 🙄

First of all, Brewer is not "suing" anyone, they filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity Commission and the state Bureau of Labor. The first complaint was filed in August and the second was filed in October. The gender-neutral bathroom was installed in October, well after the first complaint was filed, and there is no indication in the article as to whether the bathroom was installed before or after the October complaint. Snarky comments about Brewer "suing over a bathroom that was specifically built for you before you sued" are BS — there is no lawsuit, and at least one of the complaints (and possibly both) was filed long before the bathroom was installed.

The complaint about the so-called "ladies lunch" refers to an instance in which the ENTIRE rest of the accounting department, which includes 9 women plus Brewer, went out to lunch and specifically excluded the only non-female member. How would people respond if, in a department of 9 men and 1 woman, all the men in the department went out to lunch together and told the lone woman she had to stay behind and answer the phones because it was a "men's lunch"? Maybe the reason Brewer was asked to stay behind did have to do with seniority, or it was simply their turn to answer the phone or whatever, but if it's true that the lunch was specifically referred to as a "ladies lunch" as a way of excluding the ONLY nonfemale member of the department, then Brewer had every right to complain.

Another reason for the complaint was that Powell's allegedly demanded that Brewer provide evidence of their HIV status, which is totally illegal. If it's true that someone in HR did that, then that is absolutely grounds for complaint.

I love Powell's books, they are one of my favorite places on earth, and I know they are generally very supportive of LGBTQ rights. Maybe Brewer is just an obnoxious pain in the ass. But the immediate rush to judgment in this thread, and snarky comments about "people like this," and references to nonexistent lawsuits, and claims that Brewer wanted to be "called a woman" (totally untrue) suggest that some people are just looking for an excuse to tut-tut about how ridiculous trans people are. 

 

The bolded is the actual story. A better journalist might have focused on this. 

If there was a pattern of Brewer being excluded over a period of time from all team lunches, they might have a stronger case to make regarding workplace hostility. Workplaces can't actually ban a single, single sex lunch, can they ? I think this case would be stronger if they were a transwoman. 

Doesn't it take a while to install another bathroom ? I mean, I ask that seriously knowing nothing about renovation. Could it be done in a week, or is it something that might take a while to organise and create ? idk. Is it the law that non binary persons should have access to gender neutral toilets ?

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

There is a lot of misinformation in this thread. 🙄

First of all, Brewer is not "suing" anyone, they filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity Commission and the state Bureau of Labor. The first complaint was filed in August and the second was filed in October. The gender-neutral bathroom was installed in October, well after the first complaint was filed, and there is no indication in the article as to whether the bathroom was installed before or after the October complaint. Snarky comments about Brewer "suing over a bathroom that was specifically built for you before you sued" are BS — there is no lawsuit, and at least one of the complaints (and possibly both) was filed long before the bathroom was installed.

The complaint about the so-called "ladies lunch" refers to an instance in which the ENTIRE rest of the accounting department, which includes 9 women plus Brewer, went out to lunch and specifically excluded the only non-female member. How would people respond if, in a department of 9 men and 1 woman, all the men in the department went out to lunch together and told the lone woman she had to stay behind and answer the phones because it was a "men's lunch"? Maybe the reason Brewer was asked to stay behind did have to do with seniority, or it was simply their turn to answer the phone or whatever, but if it's true that the lunch was specifically referred to as a "ladies lunch" as a way of excluding the ONLY nonfemale member of the department, then Brewer had every right to complain.

Another reason for the complaint was that Powell's allegedly demanded that Brewer provide evidence of their HIV status, which is totally illegal. If it's true that someone in HR did that, then that is absolutely grounds for complaint.

I love Powell's books, they are one of my favorite places on earth, and I know they are generally very supportive of LGBTQ rights. Maybe Brewer is just an obnoxious pain in the ass. But the immediate rush to judgment in this thread, and snarky comments about "people like this," and references to nonexistent lawsuits, and claims that Brewer wanted to be "called a woman" (totally untrue) suggest that some people are just looking for an excuse to tut-tut about how ridiculous trans people are. 

 

Thank you for laying this out completely.  People either didn’t read it at all or skimmed to the point of substituting their assumptions and opinions for the actual content of the article. 

I don’t know enough about the situation to conclude that Powell’s is at fault here or not.  Not all EEOC complaints are filed in good faith.  I have admittedly ambivalent feelings about what an employer should be required to provide for those who are gender neutral as distinct from transgendered and I am not actually predisposed in this person’s favor.  But if the thing about the HIV test is accurate, Powell’s truly f-ed up and they are fortunate that this individual has ONLY filed an EEOC complaint.  Sheesh.  

It seems most people here didn’t bother to read that far or that closely.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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Never mind, I answered my own question:

The Oregon Equality Act provides that all employers must provide “reasonable and appropriate accommodations permitting all persons access to restrooms consistent with their expressed gender.”

So presumably they must provide non binary bathrooms for non binary people. 

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

 The first complaint was filed in August and the second was filed in October. The gender-neutral bathroom was installed in October, well after the first complaint was filed, and there is no indication in the article as to whether the bathroom was installed before or after the October complaint. Snarky comments about Brewer "suing over a bathroom that was specifically built for you before you sued" are BS — there is no lawsuit, and at least one of the complaints (and possibly both) was filed long before the bathroom was installed.

 

Powell started in July and the bathroom was installed in October. I consider that an incredibly fast response, so I disagree that one or both of the complaints was filed "long before" the bathroom was installed. Powell didn't work there "long before" October, he started some time in July. 

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21 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

The bolded is the actual story. A better journalist might have focused on this. 

If there was a pattern of Brewer being excluded over a period of time from all team lunches, they might have a stronger case to make regarding workplace hostility. Workplaces can't actually ban a single, single sex lunch, can they ? I think this case would be stronger if they were a transwoman. 

Doesn't it take a while to install another bathroom ? I mean, I ask that seriously knowing nothing about renovation. Could it be done in a week, or is it something that might take a while to organise and create ? idk. Is it the law that non binary persons should have access to gender neutral toilets ?

 

 

I have no idea how long it takes to build a bathroom, that is entirely irrelevant to my point. My point was that people in this thread have been claiming that Brewer was not only "suing Powell's over a bathroom" but that the bathroom had already been provided before the lawsuit was filed, which is patently false. (1) There never was a lawsuit; (2) at least the first complaint, and possibly the second, was filed before the bathroom was provided; and (3) that article never even indicated that either of the complaints was about the bathroom. Both complaints may about been about the HIV thing.

The whole premise of this thread — that this ridiculous trans person is suing Powell's over a bathroom, even after they provided the bathroom — is complete BS.  It's just another excuse for trans-bashing. 

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4 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

Powell started in July and the bathroom was installed in October. I consider that an incredibly fast response, so I disagree that one or both of the complaints was filed "long before" the bathroom was installed. Powell didn't work there "long before" October, he started some time in July. 

Powell's is the bookstore, the employee's name is Brewer. Someone stated upthread that Brewer was suing Powell's after they had already provided the bathroom. The EEOC complaint was filed in August, at least 2 months before the bathroom was provided. And Brewer is not suing anyone.

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7 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

Powell started in July and the bathroom was installed in October. I consider that an incredibly fast response, so I disagree that one or both of the complaints was filed "long before" the bathroom was installed. Powell didn't work there "long before" October, he started some time in July. 

 

Powell’s is the business.  The employee is not named Powell.  

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1 minute ago, Corraleno said:

I have no idea how long it takes to build a bathroom, that is entirely irrelevant to my point. My point was that people in this thread have been claiming that Brewer was not only "suing Powell's over a bathroom" but that the bathroom had already been provided before the lawsuit was filed, which is patently false. (1) There never was a lawsuit; (2) at least the first complaint, and possibly the second, was filed before the bathroom was provided; and (3) that article never even indicated that either of the complaints was about the bathroom. Both complaints may about been about the HIV thing.

The whole premise of this thread — that this ridiculous trans person is suing Powell's over a bathroom, even after they provided the bathroom — is complete BS.  It's just another excuse for trans-bashing. 

 

 

Well, it's obviously relevant to how long it took to build a new bathroom! If it takes a while, then the fact it took three months is neither here nor there.

 

 

 

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I don’t have an opinion on the matter at hand, but I am really tired of people saying someone is suing when actually all they’ve done is file a complaint with the appropriate governmental agency. The agencies exist for a reason and it is their function to figure out whether or not the complaints are valid. They also handle complaints dealing with gender, race, religion, working conditions, wages, etc.

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1 minute ago, Frances said:

I don’t have an opinion on the matter at hand, but I am really tired of people saying someone is suing when actually all they’ve done is file a complaint with the appropriate governmental agency. The agencies exist for a reason and it is their function to figure out whether or not the complaints are valid. They also handle complaints dealing with gender, race, religion, working conditions, wages, etc.

 

Yes, and what a waste of time when someone files 16 complaints because women won't wax her male genitalia. It seems in the Powell bookshop case, the HIV disclosure would be complaint worthy, the rest not so much. People shouldn't abuse the processes, and they most certainly shouldn't use them to extort others (the wax case, not the Powell case).

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

Powell's is the bookstore, the employee's name is Brewer. Someone stated upthread that Brewer was suing Powell's after they had already provided the bathroom. The EEOC complaint was filed in August, at least 2 months before the bathroom was provided. And Brewer is not suing anyone.

 

Sorry, Brewer and Powell's!

Yes, I know they are not suing anyone, I used the word complaint. I continue to think that is a very quick time frame to go from requesting a new bathroom be provided to filing a complaint. It's not like they can call Jimmy's One Day Bathroom Building and order one over the phone. Someone needs to actually come out and inspect the space in order to write up a plan and an estimate. Let's hope someone is available quickly, that's not always the case. Can you tie into existing plumbing? Existing electricity? How much space is required? Are there any safety issues? Once all of that is sussed out, a permit needs to be pulled. In my county, once plans are submitted you are looking at a MINIMUM review time of ten days. I'm guessing most cities are similar or longer. Then, a complete bathroom install can take two weeks if you have no delays. 

Anyone who thinks that two to three months is worthy of complaint probably hasn't done a reno or install recently. I think that aspect of the complaint should be completely disregarded, and I think it's a silly thing to complain to the media about. It makes it easy to suspect that Brewer is overreacting to everything. 

 

 

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