Judge rules to allow former New York teacher's anti-transgender discrimination lawsuit

In a case of alleged discrimination, a New York judge has denied the motion of a Catholic school in Queens to dismiss charges brought by former teacher Marla Krolikowski, who says she was fired after coming out as transgender. Judge Duane Hart questioned the claims of St. Francis Preparatory School that Krolikowski was fired for insubordination after thirty-two years of being employed at the institution. He also dismissed the school's claim that Krolikowski was essentially a minister, which would give the school the agency to fire her without court interference. 

Krolikowski was terminated from her position at St. Francis in August of 2012, and says she was told beforehand that she was "worse than gay" by a school administrator. Allegedly, a parent complained about Krolikowski's feminized appearance prior to her being fired. Upon filing a lawsuit earlier this year, she received widespread support through petitions, Facebook groups and YouTube videos calling for accountability from the school. 

While New York City explicitly protects employees from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, New York State does not. The media needs to share stories like that of Krolikowski's and other workers who have been harassed or fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Krolikowski's story highlights the need for statewide and national non-discrimination laws that include gender identity and expression so that all employees can challenge alleged anti-transgender bias.