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Trans woman sues New Jersey restaurant for unlawful termination

Trans woman sues New Jersey restaurant for unlawful termination

The Newark, New Jersey skyline

A trans woman has filed a lawsuit against a restaurant in New Jersey claiming she was fired because of her gender identity.

Crystal Aiello worked at the Sicilian Sun for only one day before her employment was terminated.

After her shift in September 2018, she was contacted by the restaurant owner Jim Boggio who informed Aiello that her employment had ended.

The lawsuit states: ‘Boggio called plaintiff and left a message stating, ‘Other servers did not feel like you were a good fit,’ and that she did not need to return to the restaurant.’

‘Boggio fired the plaintiff solely because at least one member of staff was uncomfortable working with a transgender woman,’ it continues.

Aiello is seeking lost wages, punitive damages and legal fees in accordance with the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

The suit was filed on 29 January in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Bergen County.

Speaking to NBC News Aiello’s attorney Kevin Costello said: ‘We appreciate as civil rights attorneys the difficulties and challenges faced by transgender people, in today’s America especially […] We look forward to having process applied to Crystal’s case.’

One of the more pro-LGBTI states

New Jersey is one of 21 states which protects against employment discrimination in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation.

The state has also progressed numerous progressive pro-LGBTI policies over recent years.

As of 1 February, New Jersey will include the option of having a third, non-binary gender on birth certificates, after being signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in July last year.

The bill is named after Babs Siperstein, a New Jersey native who was the first trans person to be elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2012.

Last month, Murphy also signed a bill into law which requires LGBTI-inclusive education in schools across the state.

The law will come into effect in the 2020-21 school year.

Cory Booker, the senator from New Jersey who recently announced his run for president in 2020, is also known for being a staunch supporter of LGBTI rights.