Transgender teen rejected, harassed after applying for job - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Transgender teen rejected, harassed after applying for job

(NBC) – A Florida teenager claims an McDonald's in Orlando, FL refused to give her a job interview because she is a male living as a female. Then the McDonald's followed up the rejection by harassing her over the phone.

Zikerria Bellamy, 17, has been living as a female for six years. She said she went in for an interview only to be turned away.

"Once he realized I was transgendered, he told me I wouldn't be getting an interview no more, so I was determined to work," Bellamy said. "I was determined to get job for the summer."

Bellamy said she went to a second manager: "Once he realized I was transgendered, he began to laugh at me and told me I wouldn't get the job, the interview, that day either. So later on when I got home that afternoon I received a voice message telling me I wouldn't get the job, with anti-gay anti-transgendered slurs, telling me I wouldn't get the job because I was transgendered."

The Transgender Defense Fund has filed a complaint to the state.

"McDonald's needs to take steps to make sure that this doesn't happen again and, so far, we haven't heard anything that indicates they're willing to do that," attorney Michael Silverman said.

A spokeswoman for the McDonald's said the manager acted outside the scope of his authority and was not responsible for hiring and is no longer employed by the restaurant.

Bellamy, who worked at another McDonald's location for three years, said she wants the restaurant to ensure that other employees like her are treated fairly.

Copyright 2009 NBC. All rights reserved.

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