Jahkee Wade, a transgender man, is suing a Northeast Philadelphia IHOP, which he described as a “nightmare” job. Wade recently filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia’s federal court, claiming he was sexually harassed and discriminated against.
Wade began working at IHOP in 2010 and began transitioning a year later, which is when he says the harassment started. He told PhillyMag.com, “It was awful. All of the employees were very disrespectful, calling me out of my pronouns, harassing me every day. They tried to make me use Shana — that’s my birth name — even though they knew I was transitioning. They wouldn’t let me use the name I wanted to be called.” Wade also said his manager encouraged the harassment and when he complained to a regional manager, nothing happened.
When his manager eventually left, the harassment only continued when a woman was hired, who reportedly made sexual advances toward Jahkee. PhillyMag.com reports, “She allegedly made remarks like, ‘I know you want me’ and ‘I can treat you better than your girlfriend’ and texted explicit photos to Wade. When Wade rebuffed her advances, he alleges that she turned up the heat at the job, instructing Wade’s coworkers to harass him more. The manager later grabbed Wade’s genitals and buttocks, claims the suit.”
Wade was fired in 2014 after being accused of calling an employee a “b*tch” and a “f*ggot,” which Wade denies. “They just didn’t want me there,” he said, “But I was an excellent worker. Why else would they have kept me there for four years? I did a great job. But they treated me like an outcast. I was the only trans person. They used to make me cry. It made me so depressed.”
IHOP has not commented on the lawsuit. The franchise is also facing several sexual harassment lawsuits in New York and Nevada.
Thankfully, Jahkee is now working at Wawa and said, “IHOP was the worst environment I ever worked in, but Wawa is different. They treat me real good. They call me by my proper pronouns, and they even let me wear the name tag that I prefer to wear.” See Jahkee below in his uniform:
According to Newsweek, ninety percent of transgender people face workplace discrimination. In addition, there are 28 states where you can be legally fired for being gay or transgender. Sadly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, which reverses an Obama policy issued three years ago.