Fresno transgender woman's discrimination case against Starbucks may be thrown out

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno judge has indicated that she will throw out an employment lawsuit filed by a transgender woman who accused Starbucks of discriminating against her.

Maddie Wade says she informed store manager Dustin Guthrie she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and wanted to transition to female. She asked to be called Maddie (as opposed to Matt) and be referred to with female pronouns.

She says he did not, and instead, Guthrie cut her hours. He also posted on social media about his hostility towards transgender people.

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Maddie Wade said she was happy working for Starbucks, until she told her manager at the store at Herndon and Milburn about plans to transition from a man to a woman.

But Judge Kim Gaab wrote in a tentative ruling Monday that any intolerable working conditions were remedied when Starbucks offered to transfer Wade to a different store.

"An employee's 'resignation must be employer-caused'; thus, the employer 'must know about (the intolerable working conditions) and fail to remedy the situation in order to force the employee to resign,'" Gaab wrote.

Wade's attorney, Arnold Peter, also argued that continual verbal misgendering constitutes harassment and discrimination based on gender and gender expression.

Judge Gaab wrote the legal basis Peter cited isn't relevant.

Attorneys made further arguments Tuesday, and the judge told them she'd issue a final ruling in the next two or three days.

Peter tells Action News, based on the tentative ruling, he expects to lose. If he does, he plans to appeal.
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