Metro Weekly

Barnes & Noble sued by former transgender employee

Bookstore chain accused of discriminating against employee during her transition

We are very proud to employ a large number of transgender individuals, whom, like all employees, are treated with dignity and respect.”

Barnes Noble

— Mary Ellen Keating, a spokesperson for Barnes & Noble when asked to comment on an ongoing discrimination lawsuit the company faces from a former transgender employee.

As reported by Fortune, Victoria Ramirez, who formerly worked at a Barnes & Noble in Orange County, Calif., was criticized in 2012 and 2013 by her manager for her appearance as she began painting her nails and growing out her hair. When Ramirez notified her manager that she was transitioning and wanted to present herself as a woman at work, the manager tried to discourage her, forbidding Ramirez from asking other employees to call her by her female name, from being able to use the women’s restroom, or wearing skirts or makeup.

Ramirez was later fired after calling in sick as a result of suffering from panic attacks caused by stress. Barnes & Noble is one of several companies facing lawsuits for allegedly discriminating against transgender people, following the federal government’s recent policies that treat transgender discrimination the same as sex-based discrimination.

Image: A Barnes & Noble store at the Shops at The Tanforan Mall in San Bruno, California. Credit: © BrokenSphere via Wikimedia Commons

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at