Transgender employee suing McDonalds in Wayne County for extreme sexual harassment, discrimination

- A transgender woman filed a civil rights lawsuit against a McDonald's in Wayne County, where she alleges she was groped by a coworker and called "boy-slash-girl."

La'Ray Reed claims she experienced routine sexual harassment while working at a McDonald's in Redford from April-August 2015.

"I am transgender but I have never dealt with anything like that, especially in the work field," she told Fox 2.

The lawsuit alleges she was fired after she reported the discrimination and harassment she allegedly received from coworkers and managers.

She says it began when she started working in April 2015. Early on, coworkers asked if she was "a boy or girl," and since that time, she says the harassment was continuous.

Reed says managers clocked her out early without telling her, and she most often chosen to go home early if the store wasn't busy, despite wanting to stay and earn more money.

She recalls the time she was groped.

"A manager's voice came through the headset and was saying, 'You have to feel from the back, you can't feel from the front,'" Reed says.

That's when she says a coworker put their hand behind between her legs.

"Ms. Reed was traumatized by the experience," the lawsuit document reads.

The suite alleges that in June 2015, her coworkers became uncomfortable with her using the women's bathroom, so they had her clean out a dirty, unused bathroom typically used to store brooms. From then on, she was required to only use that bathroom.

She then attempted to alert the corporate manager, but he appeared impatient. She went to the owner next, with no luck, according to the suit.

"No one did anything as far as -- the managers, the owner of the McDonald's -- nobody," she said.

Reed was then told she was fired for "no-call, no-shows."

The full suit files three counts of violations of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act: hostile work environment, disparate treatment discrimination on the basis of sex, and retaliation. The act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, etc.

"I thought I should take a lot of pills and I could go to sleep and not wake up anymore, and everything would be so much better," Reed said.

Hearing of the lawsuit, protesters with Detroit's Fight for $15 went inside with signs and a bullhorn, and marched outside.

"I think that they need to recognize that everybody is a human being no matter what," said W.J. Rideout, founder of Defenders of Truth & Justice.

Those with LGBT Detroit are disgusted.

"This is outrageous that McDonald's thinks that this is OK," said Curtis Lipscomb, the group's executive director.

FOX 2 reached out to McDonald's for a comment, but has not yet heard back.

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