Author Topic: Outed by my works H.R.  (Read 734 times)

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Offline Aceshep4

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Outed by my works H.R.
« on: July 13, 2017, 11:43:30 am »
Hello everyone!

So recently I discovered that some of my coworkers found out about me being trans due to the Human Resources woman at my job telling them. I'm sure we can all agree that that's wildly inappropriate and I have a right to be mad?! Some of my closest coworkers who already knew are telling me that I should take legal action and possibly sue. Does anyone have any thoughts or know if this would be a beneficial thing to do? She has since never apologized to me. Her boss apologized on her behalf but anytime I see her around she completely avoids me.

Thank you!

Offline natalie.ashlyne

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 11:53:45 am »
I  don't know where you are from but I am from ontario canada and yes here that is a huge breach of confidentiality, You have the right to bring if forward to the next step yes this person may lose their job, but this person may have put you at a risk. Myself I would talk to a union rep if you have one possible a lawyer or a labor board worker.   

Offline AnonyMs

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 12:49:04 pm »
One of the downsides of legal action is losing the legal action and your job. Just so long as you can afford it all.

I'd make sure you have some hard evidence of any of this otherwise its your word against theirs, and they have more money.

Offline AnneK

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 12:55:33 pm »
In some areas, taking action against an employee for standing up for their rights is taken very seriously, so employers want to be very certain what they do is legal.  Someone in HR who doesn't understand that and their obligations is not competent to do their job and pose a legal liability for the employer.
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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 04:47:49 pm »
Welcome to Susan's Place. The HR employee should be in pretty hot water as the result of revealing personal information. Anything in the personal records should be limited to HR, management when required and the persons who's file it is. If the employee wasn't terminated, they should be placed on probation for an extended period and released from the company if an additional violation is committed.

As for taking it farther, consider it very carefully because if you become to much of a problem for the company, the company will find a way to terminate your employment with them that you will be unable to prevent. At this point, it may be best to hope the company took sufficient action and do your job.

I had two terminations that may have been the result of my transition and really my only options was to forget about it and move on in life. Having a company willing to work with you while you transition is something I would have loved to have.

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Offline Sarah leah

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 05:15:49 pm »
I am sorry that you are facing this as I also had problems with HR disclosing information to not only members of staff but other multidisciplinary professional's in my community. This event only recently occur at my place of work and was followed up by my contract being ended due to my response to his deplorable actions. In terms of how I am dealing with it this is an excerpt from a letter my lawyer sent me two days ago:

You have been discriminated against under the  Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) based on your intersex status and gender identity . You have also been discriminated against under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) based on the letter of -my place of employment- dated 13 June 2017 where Mr -removed- used your absence from work on sick leave as one reason not to allow you to finish the rest of your employment contract.

The type of discrimination that you have experienced falls into both state and federal legislation. You are therefore able to lodge a complaint to the Equal Opportunity Commission or Australian Human Rights Commission . Please note that if you pursue a complaint through the Equal Opportunity Commission , and the complaint does not resolve at a Conciliation Conference , then you may be eligible  to apply for funding with the Equal Opportunity Commission to pursue your matter to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal. This will depend on the merits of your complaint. There is no similar funding offered by the Australian Human Rights Commission should your matter not resolve at conciliation; however, you are able to apply for legal aid funding in order to pursue your matter to the Federal Court of Australia . We will discuss these options with you in more detail should your matter proceed in this direction. We recommend that you make a complaint  to the Australian  Human  Rights Commission.

This correspondence went into detail the entire process concluding with:

We advise that you are able to seek financial compensation for the following damages:
1. Pain and suffering
2. Loss of income
3. Aggravated  damages
4. Exemplary damages
5. Punitive damages

It is not going to be fun I assure you but you do have rights and you should at the very least look at what they are.

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Offline Charlie Nicki

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 11:47:34 am »
That's absolutely unprofessional and inappropriate. I hope she got reprimanded for it.

Offline Rowena_Ellenweorc

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 01:56:54 pm »
That's DEFINITELY something to be mad about. I think you need to let the employee's boss know that its still going around at the person who outed you is also making a point to avoid you, etc.  Because this is obviously not enough.  There's no guarantees that it won't happen again, and she is a liability to the company.

The reason I ask is because like others pointed out, law suits can have the opposite effect, especially if you lose.  And then you've also lost a lot of time and money for what? Having worked in a law office myself, (as a runt though... so take this with a grain of salt) I've seen a lot of the work that goes into the behind the scenes. And it really is a ton of work and stress. Beyond testimony, there's a TON of what's called discovery that has to be done to make sure you are accurate when presenting your case when it comes to legalities, etc. (Discovery = Research) Plus, if all you have is VERBAL confirmation then there is so many ways they can poke holes in your stories, causing reasonable doubt.  For example, do you use the restroom for assigned gender or the one that correlates to your actual gender identity? Is it possible one of the people you got your information could have been talking about you and someone overheard?  If you've had surgery, is it possible someone could have seen your scars in the bathroom/locker room?  If you haven't had surgery, is it possible someone saw your 'compensations'?  (Couldn't think of a better word sorry.  Don't know your gender so going to give a spectrum of examples.  A stuffed bra, a binder, a packer, etc)
The other thing to consider, (I don't know if you're a US citizen or not or what state you are from if you are, but this is just my perspective on things AS a US Citizen and a resident of Utah) is the law.  Your case may not even make it to court.  If not even the equal opportunity employment act can ensure the binary genders are equal, then how can you ensure you're going to be fairly treated in court as a transgender person?  Its common knowledge that here in the US women are paid less than men, and I've even been a victim of less pay for being a minority.  People get treated differently by employers because of the differences etc.
BUUUUT these cases require a LOT of evidence to be heard and proved which is why you don't hear as much about these types of cases as you should.  Its ridiculously hard to prove these claims. Like when I was paid barely min wage and only got a raise because min wage was increased, there's no way I could prove those claims. (Not to mention worked harder)
Even at my law firm when I wasn't being paid the base rate for someone at my job, I couldn't prove it, and HR flat out told me that I must have been discussing my wages with my coworkers.  But no, I distinctly remember being told that I'd be paid 10 dollars an hour, and then being utterly confused when I was getting paid 8 dollars.  But by the time I challenged it, they could pull out my new hire letter (Which mind you was written well after I accepted the job, but back dated to the day I was hired) and it clearly stated 8 dollars an hour. And who do you think courts will believe? backdated paperwork or the word of an employee?

Born May 1989 - Assigned Female
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November 26, 2017 - Came out on FB

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Offline Nina

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 02:04:19 pm »
My response will  be met with harsh criticism...but I say let it go. You have a job, HR is aware of you being trans as are a few of your closest may have only been a matter of time.
Suing seems to be the go to method....I dunno...I'd want to just move on.

I was prepared to sue an organization I was applying...knowing full well not only was I over qualified, but there was no doubt it was discriminatory. I talked with the Human Rights council in Ontario, and had filed paperwork. Can't recall what made me do this, but I yanked the paperwork and forgot about it. I moved on.
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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 06:57:38 pm »
That is absolutely repulsive of what she did to you! I'm so sorry that happened :(

Offline Yakayla

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Re: Outed by my works H.R.
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 02:55:18 pm »
The H.R. is supposed to keep all your personal information secret. If they have told others about other personal information(not just yours), there is probably no case. If It has only been about you or you have been recently been getting harassed at work from this incident, then you definitely have a discrimination case.

The choice is up to you what you want to do. You do have leverage is this situation. If all you want is an apology from H.R. you do have the right to demand one. If things have gotten bad for you at work from this incident, you have the right to demand that they are to be fired. You can threaten to sue them if they refuse, but if you want to work there, this can and will make for a hostile work environment. If you are let go or fire you for any of these actions, you also have a good case for discrimination.

Take some time to think about this though. What's most important to you in this situation. Suing someone can be very costly and time consuming with no guarantee that you will win. And there has to be some kind of proof of malicious content. If I were in your shoes, I would demand an apology, report any recent harassment to the boss, and if were to get fired in the next 1-2 month sue them for wrongful termination. But I am not you, and I wish you luck. That'll be ten dollars ;)
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