Transgender Woman Blames Firing On Using Wrong Bathroom

STAR CITY, AR -- A transgender woman says she was fired from her job at McDonald's for using the ladies bathroom.
She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

"It was a normal application process," said 21-year-old Kaye Bowens of her hiring last December.  [There were] no questions asked."

Bowens says she made no secret about who she is.

"I started transitioning like about three years ago, and I've been a homosexual my entire life," said Bowens.

Bowens says her employment went fine until earlier this month when a shift manager confronted her in the women's bathroom.

"She's like 'what are you doing in here?'" Explained Bowens.  "I'm like 'I'm using the restroom."'

Bowens says she was puzzled.  She'd been using the ladies room the whole time she worked there.  The next day, the store's general manager called her into the office and fired her, according to Bowens.

"There were no questions about my side or what happened," said Bowens.

Bowens says she was offered her job back later that day after threatening a lawsuit, but only if she agreed to use the men's room.

Michael Retzer, owner of the Star City McDonald's issued the following statement Wednesday:

“We believe in the value of a diverse workforce, equal opportunity and a workplace free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  As such, we continue to do our best to meet the needs of our employees and customers, and we are reviewing this situation carefully. It is important for us to share that the employee in question is a current employee and has not been terminated. We have asked the employee to discuss this issue with us, but we have not received a response.”

Two other McDonald's employees, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution, corroborated Bowens' version of events. 

Bowens says she filed a complaint with EEOC and is considering hiring a lawyer, after feeling her rights have been violated.

"If I'm a good worker for you, what does it matter where I use the restroom?" Said Bowens. 

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