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Former ‘gender-neutral’ employee sues Bon Appetit over feminine pronouns

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In an inevitable development, a former employee who identifies as neither male nor female is suing a catering company because co-workers continually referred to the individual as a female.

According to the lawsuit, a person named Valeria Jones explained that Jones “was not a female or a male and that the term was unwelcome,” The Oregonian reported.

Instead, Jones asked to be addressed by an unknown gender-neutral pronoun.

In spite of the request, co-workers used terms such as “miss,” “lady” and “little lady” when referring to Jones, insisting Jones looked like a woman. The article did not specify Jones’ designated sex at birth.

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When hired by Bon Appetit Management Co., Jones left blank the gender question on the job application and was not questioned by management, according to the lawsuit.

Jones is asking for $18,682 in lost wages and benefits, and another $500,000 for humiliation and suffering, including times when the “plaintiff cried regularly at work and at home,” the lawsuit said.

Bon Appetit did not comment on the pending litigation, but Vice President Maisie Ganzler told The Oregonian, “I can say we are an equal opportunity employer that embraces diversity of all kinds.”

It’s easy to see the difficult challenge employers face.

In the ever-confusing gay community, individuals like Jones are referred to as gender-nonconforming people, but the term “gender identity” is so ambiguous that it’s rendered useless.

According to World Net Daily, the city of Gainesville, Fla., for example, describes gender identity as:

“An inner sense of being a specific gender, or the expression of a gender identity by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

The phrase “by verbal statement” pretty much leaves it up to the whims of the individual, tremendously burdening businesses.

Tom Tillison

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