TAMPA, Fla. — A transgender teenager says a McDonald's restaurant in Florida discriminated against her when managers refused to interview her for a job, according to a complaint filed Monday.
Zikerria Bellamy, 17, said two managers at an Orlando restaurant wouldn't give her an interview on two separate occasions in July. Later, she said a manager left her a voicemail, using a gay slur to let her know she wouldn't be hired.
A spokeswoman for Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's said the restaurant would issue a statement later Monday.
Bellamy is a male who has been living as a female for about the past six years. She said she completed a job application online, then was called to the store for an interview. When one manager refused to see her, she called later and was granted an interview with another manager.
"He began to laugh at me once he saw me," said Bellamy, who wore a suit to the interview. "He said, 'Oh, I can't interview you today. I'm busy.'"
The New York-based Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, which filed the complaint on Bellamy's behalf, posted a recording of the message on YouTube.
Florida law does not specifically protect transgender people from discrimination, but administrative rulings have covered them under the Florida Civil Rights Act's prohibitions on sex and disability discrimination, said Michael Silverman, executive director of the advocacy group.
Silverman said only 12 states have anti-discrimination laws specifically covering gender identity. Federal legislation recently was proposed and could be considered by Congress next year.