Arkansas | Discrimination | McDonald's | Transgender | Video

Arkansas Transwoman Fired For Using Women's Restroom: VIDEO

Kaye Bowens

Kaye Bowens of Star City, Arkansas claims she was fired from her job at McDonald's for using the women's restroom. Bowens is transgender, a fact that she was up front with from the very beginning of her employment, and had been using the women's room for three months without issue. Then one day two weeks ago a shift manager confronted her about it, and the next day Bowens was called into the general manager's office and fired. 

Bowens threatened with a lawsuit and was offered her job back, but only on the condition that she used the men's room going forward. The franchise owner Michael Retzer issued the following statement about the incident:

We believe in the value of a diverse workforce, equal opportunity and a workplace free from all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment.  As such, we continue to do our best to meet the needs of our employees and customers, and we are reviewing this situation carefully. It is important for us to share that the employee in question is a current employee and has not been terminated. We have asked the employee to discuss this issue with us, but we have not received a response.

Bowens in the meantime has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is considering hiring a lawyer. You can watch a news interview with Bowens AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Transaltion: The phobic shift manager and GM fired her, but the franchise owner fearing expensive legal bills and a settlement did not sign off on the termination and is hoping "pretty please" that she will just let it go.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Mar 20, 2014 6:19:01 PM

  2. If she's legally a woman now, they must be sued; if she's just a genderfreak then let her suffer

    Posted by: litper | Mar 20, 2014 6:51:41 PM

  3. Hey Lipter, what's a genderfreak? Is that your aggressive, bigoted definition for anything that isn't white, gay and male?

    Posted by: Freddie | Mar 20, 2014 6:56:36 PM

  4. anything that hates homosexuality and wants to preach transgenderism to please the hetero norms of man-woman relationships.

    Posted by: litper | Mar 20, 2014 7:12:03 PM

  5. I never understand this. Ladies' rooms are invariably equipped with stalls for privacy. Any concern that a trans woman is merely a man posing as a woman for the opportunity to be a restroom predator is insulting, barring actual predatory behavior.

    I know it has happened in some schools, but have there been any cases of an adult transgender man being refused the use of a Men's room by their employer?

    Posted by: colleen | Mar 20, 2014 7:26:10 PM

  6. I will never understand why people freak out so hard at transgender people peeing.

    Posted by: whitneyisadude | Mar 20, 2014 8:09:57 PM

  7. That's what this is really about. Let her pee in peace.

    Posted by: whitneyisadude | Mar 20, 2014 8:11:07 PM

  8. Never a dull moment on Towleroad.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Mar 20, 2014 8:15:49 PM

  9. Perfect answers to faux outrage about Transpeople peeing:

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Mar 20, 2014 8:34:03 PM

  10. I can't help myself.


    Posted by: TK96 | Mar 20, 2014 8:53:55 PM

  11. Why does anyone care which bathroom Kaye uses?

    Posted by: Enchantra | Mar 20, 2014 9:04:05 PM

  12. Enchantra (Rick), you care. That's why you posted that transphobic comment under the name Litper above, as well transphobic comments on the Le1f thread. It's already been established you're the same person. Just own up to your trolling.

    Posted by: Tyler | Mar 20, 2014 11:33:16 PM

  13. Hey, if Towleroad is gonna be a tranny news source, it really should cover ALL the transgender news? You know, like this story from ABC News, which is being covered by news media all over the world:

    "A transgender woman accused of being a serial killer is blaming the 1990 murders of three prostitutes in Washington State on Douglas Perry, the person she identified as before her transition.

    Police allege that Perry shot the women and left their naked bodies on the banks of the Spokane River. She was arrested earlier this year and served jail time for federal weapons charges. Police say they matched Perry's fingerprints to the crime scenes, according to the affidavit.

    When detectives interviewed Perry and asked why the murders had stopped, she replied, "Douglas didn't stop, Donna stopped it," according to the affidavit. Since then, Perry said she is "paranoid and emotional but won't hurt anybody."

    "I'm not going to admit I killed anybody, I didn't. Donna has killed nobody," she told police. When pressed if "Doug did" the killings, Perry replied, "I don't know if Doug did or not, it was 20 years ago and I have no idea whether he did or did not," according to the affidavit."

    This is what LGBs get linked to when they accept the label LGBT.

    Posted by: Timmy | Mar 21, 2014 12:46:05 AM

  14. One uses the bath room for which they are dressed and should act accordingly to the sexual presentation. There are some guide lines that can be found if one goes to Lambda Legal on the use of a bath room. I am there for one thing, to perform a bodily function and leave.

    Posted by: Barbara Marie | Mar 21, 2014 7:35:45 AM

  15. Hey Timmy, so would you say all gay men are like Jeffrey Dahmer? There are a few bad apples in any group. Only bigots seek to claim that everyone in that group is the same.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Mar 21, 2014 9:53:28 AM

  16. So let me see if I understand their position correctly. If it was a woman transitioning to a man and because of hormone injections, top surgery and dress; they have a full beard and look and act like a man, they should still be required to use the ladies room? And THAT would not cause a stir among employees or customers? Right!

    Posted by: Jere | Mar 21, 2014 10:19:20 AM

  17. Jere, why should anyone have to deal with the consequences of transgender appearance issues?

    You create a bizarre appearance that makes most people uncomfortable to use the bathroom around you? Thats your problem. Go behind a bush. Or go before you leave home.

    Posted by: Vanya | Mar 21, 2014 12:54:54 PM

  18. As a transgendered McDonald's employee, I sympathize with Ms. Bowens. I used the men's room several times at my McDonald's before a customer complained about it. My store manager effectively barred me from using the men's room, or else I'd be fired. Luckily, however, there is a "family" restroom (a.k.a. gender-neutral) restroom in the Playplace.

    Still, it is grueling that places like McDonald's would ever invoke such discrimination upon its employees.

    Posted by: Ayma Nidiot | Mar 22, 2014 2:58:57 PM

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