Androgynous nurse sues nursing facility after being fired

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A Philadelphia nurse has filed suit against a nursing home in the Germantown section, claiming unlawful bias regarding her gender nonconformity caused her to be fired.

On Jan. 23, “Jane Doe” filed suit against Maplewood Nursing Home, located at 125 W. School House Lane. Maplewood is a 180-bed nursing facility and Doe wanted to work there as a charge nurse. 

Doe identifies as androgynous. She sports a visible beard and her pronouns are she/her. According to her 16-page lawsuit, Doe had an interview with Maplewood for a charge-nurse position on Sept. 1, 2023. The position is supervisory in nature and offers the possibility of advancement. 

Doe’s interview went well and she was hired for the job, according to the lawsuit.

But Doe had a two-day orientation session on Sept. 13-14, during which she was continually misgendered, according to the lawsuit.

On the first day of the orientation session, Doe’s orientation facilitator continually referred to Doe as a “guy.” Doe didn’t protest, in the hope the misgendering would stop, according to the lawsuit.

But on Sept. 14, Doe requested that she not be referred to as a “guy.” The orientation facilitator — identified only as “Felicia” in the lawsuit — allegedly replied:  “Everyone gets called guys.”

When Doe told Felicia: “It’s illegal to misgender me,” Felicia referred Doe to the director of nursing — identified only as “Cynthia” in the lawsuit.

Cynthia allegedly told Doe: “This is not the place for political stances,” according to Doe’s lawsuit.

Later that day, Cynthia allegedly told Doe: “Take care of your medical issues,” apparently referring to Doe’s gender identity.

Doe brought up the issue of cultural competency, which had been discussed during the first day of orientation. But Cynthia allegedly said: “That applies to the residents and doesn’t apply to employees,” according to the lawsuit.

Then, Cynthia allegedly instructed Doe to leave the facility, because she was no longer employed there, according to the lawsuit.

Doe contends she was fired for discriminatory reasons and in retaliation for speaking out against alleged mistreatment. Her lawsuit alleges discrimination on the basis of her sex, gender identity, gender 

stereotyping and perceived disability.

Doe’s lawsuit seeks more than $150,000 in damages, including compensation for the loss of income, benefits, commissions, bonuses and promotions she would have received.

Additionally, Doe seeks compensation for the pain and suffering she allegedly endured and punitive damages for Maplewood’s alleged intentional wrongdoing.

Moreover, Doe seeks a judicial order that Maplewood provide a neutral employment reference for Doe and that Maplewood conduct sensitivity training for its workers.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge John M. Younge. A jury trial has been requested.

Neither side had a comment for this story.