Dennis “Paris” Naranjo, who is transgender, claims she suffered repeated harassment at the hands of her former managers.
Naranjo began working at the Northridge store as a sales associate in April of 2017. She initially identified herself as “no gender” on her application, requiring co-workers to respond to her using “they” and “them” pronouns. Upon realizing co-workers were having difficulty, Naranjo identified herself as female, asking associates to use female pronouns and refer to her as “Paris,” as opposed to her legal name of Dennis.
Naranjo claims that multiple co-workers drew attention to and made disparaging remarks regarding her genitalia, commented on her HR-sanctioned use of the women’s restroom, and referred to her by male pronouns to customers. Naranjo asserts that she was called “perverted,” “disgusting,” a “clown,” “creep,” and “wannabe female,” all because she was transgender. Naranjo states that she was singled out for “dressing inappropriately” when she was comparably dressed to other female employees. In the months that followed, Naranjo was also criticized for not working in her designated area and incorrectly communicating with customers, although she says she followed procedure.
Forever 21 terminated Naranjo’s employment in August 2018, saying that she had not shown up for two previously scheduled shifts, which Naranjo has said she did not receive when she had called for her schedule. Naranjo claims that the treatment she endured at Forever 21 has resulted in severe emotional distress and loss of wages.
Carney Shegerian, the founder of Los Angeles-based employee rights law firm Shegerian & Associates, and Naranjo’s attorney, has weighed in on the suit.
“The harassment and retaliation that Dennis faced at Forever 21 is unacceptable,” Shegerian says. “All employees should have a workplace free of harassment.”
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