Twitter user
Twitter user

One word that got worker sacked

A US man has revealed why he decided to fire an employee over the use of a single "disrespectful" word, which insulted a fellow colleague.

The unnamed man, who goes by Seven (S) aints on Twitter, shared the saga on the social media platform earlier this week.

The boss, from Tallahassee in Florida, claimed one of his workers had referred to a transgender colleague as "it" - despite being warned against it.

The worker allegedly also underwent sensitivity training where it was explained why "misgendering" someone - or referring to them by the incorrect pronoun - was so insulting.

However, the man persisted - until his boss stepped in.

The series of tweets coincided with Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTI community.

Twitter user Seven (S) aints went viral after sharing his story. Picture: Twitter/@nohoescourtland
Twitter user Seven (S) aints went viral after sharing his story. Picture: Twitter/@nohoescourtland

"One of my employees called my other employee an 'it' because she's transgender. I fired him. Happy pride month, b**ch," Metro reported the man as posting.

"Being disrespectful towards employees or customers is detrimental to our work environment, productivity and bottom line. If they clearly (identify) as female use female pronouns. It ain't hard.

"I told him specifically don't call her an 'it'. He did … in front of other employees …. if I don't act that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

"You work with this person 5-6 days a week. Learn their name or call them as the gender they clearly identify as. Easy to do my man. You smarter than 'it'."

The man's account is now private, and it is not known what industry the alleged incident occurred within, although the tweets have attracted an outpouring of support.

"This was beyond rude. Calling a transgender person 'it' is a deliberate attempt to demean that person because of what they are. It's an insult analogous to a racially or religiously offensive insult," one Twitter user posted, while another added: "Calling someone 'It' has always been rude. The correct pronoun for if you don't know the preferred pronoun is 'they'."

AUSSIE LAWS

Earlier this year, Tasmania became the first Australian state to make gender optional on birth certificates.

The controversial new reforms also removed the requirement for transgender people to have sexual reassignment surgery in order to have a new gender recognised, and allows 16-year-olds to change their registered gender via a statutory declaration without permission of their parents.

It is widely expected that the remaining states and territories will eventually pass similar legislation.
However, before the Tasmanian anti-discrimination reforms passed, some claimed the law change would make it illegal to refer to someone using the wrong pronoun.

In December, University of Notre Dame senior lecturer Greg Walsh told The Australian the then-proposed changes would add the term "gender expression" into the act, which is defined as including "personal references that manifest or express gender or gender identity".

"(This) could make it illegal for a person to not accept a transgender person's gender identity, such as by declining to use their preferred personal pronoun," Dr Walsh said.

But Maurice Blackburn Lawyers associate Patrick Turner told news.com.au existing laws already provided the capacity to take action over the misuse of pronouns.

Mr Turner said an employee whose boss continued to use a different pronoun despite causing distress and being asked to use a different title, could already apply for a Stop the Bullying order under the Fair Work Act.

The federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 also prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, appearance or characteristics.

Continue the conversation @carey_alexis | alexis.carey@news.com.au



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