Black Transgender Man Says New Orleans Police Rescinded His Job Offer Because Of His Gender Identity
Britton Hamilton said he had already received a conditional offer from the police department.
May 18, 2021 at 9:31 pm
A transgender man has filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, affirming that his job offer with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) was reversed due to his gender identity.Britton Hamilton, who is Black, said the department made an unexpected change and rescinded the offer after he had already been hired, WDSU News reported. He filed his complaint against the city and the department.
“I thought when I got my letter that was it, I was over the conditions threshold,” Hamilton told the news station.The NOPD, however, has stated otherwise. It said the decision was on the grounds of psychological and behavioral principles based on an assessment and that Hamilton’s gender had nothing to do with the reversal, according to MSN.
“The decision not to move forward with the applicant in question did not involve any discrimination against the individual as a member of a protected group," a statement from the department said.Hamilton received the news on Jan. 26 via email, the NY Daily News reported.
“I was caught off guard when I saw that because I’ve been transitioning for over six years. My name is changed, my gender is changed,” Hamilton told WDSU News.A month prior, he was cleared for hire on Dec. 14 after surpassing the requirements of his civil service exam and physical agility test in July 2020. According to the Daily News, Hamilton had also passed his subsequent background check and interview.
The 33-year-old was then asked to supply additional employment information once given the conditional job offer. Hamilton had to provide the department documents outlining his honorable discharge from the military 12 years prior even though he was only asked for documents outlining up to 10 years when he had initially applied for the job.Things then began to turn south after the department continued to ask for more personal information, including Hamilton’s medical history. After being denied the job offer, his doctor submitted a letter, approving of Hamilton’s mental state. He said he had not seen “any evidence of emotional or behavioral instability.”
Hamilton's lawyer, Chelsea Cusimano, said she’s representing Hamilton because, like him, she believes his offer was rejected because of his gender."I'm out to make sure that all employers know that transgender people will be treated the same -- they will be hired the same and treated the same and will not be targeted based on that decision," Cusimano said.
Hamilton grew up a female but began transitioning in 2015 and legally became a man in 2016. He changed his name from Brittany to Britton. He’s been married to his wife Mallory since 2018.
Fighting for the chance to tell his side of the story, Hamilton still argues that what was done to him by the department was not fair.
“Just to be denied because of my gender was very heartbreaking,” Hamilton said. “My being trans doesn’t affect my capabilities to serve my community.”
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