After being investigated by the state attorney general’s office, American Eagle Outfitters in New York state agreed to pay $70,000 to the state and change its policies regarding transgender employees.
The settlement comes after two sets of transgender and non-transgender New Yorkers applied to 24 of Manhattan’s most popular stores, such as DSW and Trader Joe’s. Both American Eagle and J. Crew twice offered the non-transgender applicant a job, even though their transgender counterpart had more retail management experience, according to Make the Road New York, the organization which filed the complaint.
“I first became involved in the investigation because I couldn’t find a job,” said Julian Brolaski, 31, a female-to-male transgender who was passed over at American Eagle. “At every store, I asked if I would be comfortable working there as a transgender. One hiring manager said, ‘That’s up to you.’ Can you imagine saying that to a person of color or a disabled person?”
American Eagle also agreed to stop requiring that employees sign an illegal “Personal Appearance Standard,” stating they would wear “gender appropriate clothing,” and prohibiting men from wearing women’s clothing and vice versa.
Make the Road New York has filed a similar complaint against J. Crew.