Transgender cop sues Port Authority for discrimination claiming his colleagues called him 'it' and wouldn't let him switch restrooms and locker rooms for six months

 A transgender cop has sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, claiming his colleagues called him 'it' and wouldn't let him switch restrooms and locker rooms for six months after transitioning. 

Michael McConaughey, who has worked as an officer with the agency since 2013, filed a lawsuit against his employer Sunday alleging he was discriminated against in the workplace for being transgender. 

McConaughey claims colleagues purposely referred to him using female pronouns and his pre-transition name on more than 50 separate occasions after he announced he had transitioned from a woman to a man. 

Complaints made to his supervisors and the human resources department over his treatment had 'no obvious impact', while one supervisor retaliated by complaining about McConaughey to his union, according to the suit. 

A transgender cop has sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, claiming his colleagues called him 'it' and wouldn't let him change restrooms and locker rooms for six months after transitioning. Pictured Port Authority officers in New York last May

A transgender cop has sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, claiming his colleagues called him 'it' and wouldn't let him change restrooms and locker rooms for six months after transitioning. Pictured Port Authority officers in New York last May 

McConaughey was hired by the Port Authority as a police officer in August 2013 when he publicly identified as a woman, the suit states.

In 2018, McConaughey was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began the process of transitioning from a woman to a man.

That summer, McConaughey told a superior and the human resources department that he was in the process of transitioning and would need to switch to using the men's locker rooms and restroom, the suit claims. 

He then followed the meetings up with a formal written request, he claims. 

McConaughey claims he received no response about his request for 30 days and so followed it up with another request.  

He was allegedly contacted by human resources and asked to hold off on switching locker rooms while the Port Authority's insurers and legal department approved a new policy, the suit says. 

McConaughey claims it took until January 2019 - six months after he first requested to be able to switch facilities - for the Port Authority to allow him to start using the male facilities. 

It was then another almost year and a half - in July 2020 - before the Port Authority switched McConaughey's first name and gender identity on its papers and electronic documents, uniform and equipment rosters, and court notification, the suit claims. 

The suit says McConaughey officially announced he had transitioned to a man and that he went by male pronouns in February 2019, before legally changing his name on May 2019.  

Michael McConaughey, who has worked as an officer with the agency since 2013, filed a lawsuit (above) against his employer Sunday alleging he was discriminated against in the workplace for being transgender

Michael McConaughey, who has worked as an officer with the agency since 2013, filed a lawsuit (above) against his employer Sunday alleging he was discriminated against in the workplace for being transgender

McConaughey claims colleagues purposely referred to him using female pronouns and his pre-transition name on more than 50 separate occasions after he announced he had transitioned from a woman to a man

McConaughey claims colleagues purposely referred to him using female pronouns and his pre-transition name on more than 50 separate occasions after he announced he had transitioned from a woman to a man

McConaughey claims that several superiors and coworkers including Sergeant Joseph Brenneck 'purposely referred to Plaintiff using female pronouns and his pre-transition name' from that March onwards, the suit claims.

The suit also alleges that dozens of McConaughey's coworkers began insulting or ostracizing him, 'including by misgendering or mis-naming him over Port Authority radio communications for all of his coworkers to hear'.

In one alleged incident last October, McConaughey claims a colleague stared at his genitalia in the restroom and then referred to him multiple times as 'it,' 'whatever it is,' and a 'transvestite.'

The same coworker also allegedly told colleagues McConaughey had a 'sex change' and had a 'rubber dick,' the suit says. 

On other alleged occasions, colleagues would reveal his former identity to new employees to humiliate him. 

McConaughey also claims when he returned to work from an extended leave for gender confirmation surgery in May 2019, he found some of his sensitive, personal documents had been removed from his desk. 

LGBTQ+ activists protest in front of the Supreme Court in October 2019 as it heard arguments on whether gay and transgender people are covered by a federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex

LGBTQ+ activists protest in front of the Supreme Court in October 2019 as it heard arguments on whether gay and transgender people are covered by a federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex

McConaughey's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, is one of more than 300 cases which have cited the landmark June 2020 Bostock v Clayton County Supreme Court ruling

McConaughey's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, is one of more than 300 cases which have cited the landmark June 2020 Bostock v Clayton County Supreme Court ruling

The lawsuit also describes several instances where McConaughey and his coworkers allegedly raised concerns about the harassment to no avail. 

In total, McConaughey claims he complained to management at least seven times between March 2019 and June 2020 that he was being shamed and harassed by his superior and coworkers but his complaints 'had no obvious impact'. 

The suit alleges that his superior Brenneck retaliated by reporting to McConaughey's union that he had 'ratted to the job on him'. 

McConaughey claims the incidents amounted to a hostile work environment and retaliation against him. 

He is requesting monetary damages and a trial by jury in the case.

McConaughey's attorney Daniel Kirschbaum told the Washington Examiner the case should send a message that 'anti-trans discrimination is just as unlawful and should be taken just as seriously as any other form of harassment or discrimination.' 

'As a police officer, [McConaughey's] out there every day risking his own safety, for the sake of the public, and he wants the employer to respect his identity and have his back while he's protecting the public,' said Kirschbaum.

'It would be shameful if government were engaging in unlawful discrimination.' 

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Port Authority for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, is one of more than 300 cases which have cited the landmark June 2020 Bostock v Clayton County Supreme Court ruling in the last year, Bloomberg reported. 

Gerald Bostock served as the child welfare coordinator for Clayton County, Georgia.

Gerald Bostock (pictured) was fired from his job for 'conduct unbecoming of a county employee' when he joined a gay softball league

Gerald Bostock (pictured) was fired from his job for 'conduct unbecoming of a county employee' when he joined a gay softball league 

When he joined a gay recreational softball league outside of work, he was fired for 'conduct unbecoming of a county employee', his employer said.

This left him without employment or health insurance as he recovered from prostate cancer. 

Bostock, who had strong internal reviews for his job performance, filed a lawsuit claiming he was discriminated against because of his sexuality.  

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bostock, finding that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, protects gay, lesbian or transgender people from discrimination at work.  

The ruling represented the biggest moment for LGBTQ+ rights in the US since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. 

Meanwhile, Republican-led states are currently pushing back against LGBTQ+ rights with more than 250 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in 33 states this year. 

Among them, is a push from Texas lawmakers to ban transgender students from participating in sports.

This comes as Joe Biden has issued executive orders to improve  LGBTQ+ rights including lifting the ban on transgender people serving in the military. 

Transgender cop sues Port Authority for discrimination claiming his colleagues called him 'it' and wouldn't let him switch restrooms and locker rooms for six months Transgender cop sues Port Authority for discrimination claiming his colleagues called him 'it' and wouldn't let him switch restrooms and locker rooms for six months Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:32 Rating: 5

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