© The Associated Press / The Canadian Press / Damian DovarganesAshley Yang, a transgender woman poses for a photo at Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX) on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011, in Los Angeles. Yang was fired from her Transportation Security Administration, passenger screener job at LAX for using the women's room. She recently received a five-figure settlement, back pay and mandatory transgender sensitivity for TSA managers at the LAX airport.
Transportation Security Administration managers at Los Angeles International Airport are undergoing mandatory sensitivity training after a transgender employee alleged she was ordered to dress like a man, pat down male passengers and use the men's restroom.
Ashley Yang, 29, who spent two years as a security checkpoint screener at LAX, was fired last summer after co-workers observed her using the women's room, according to a copy of her termination letter obtained by The Associated Press. She contested the firing, resulting in a settlement that mandated the training.
"Ashley lives her life as a woman. Her co-workers recognized her as a woman. Passengers recognized her as a woman. But her employer didn't," said attorney Kristina Wertz of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, which helped her file a civil rights complaint. "She was asked to hide who she was just in order to earn a living."
The settlement, reached in December and completed last month, also called for Yang to receive five months of back pay and a five-figure award for pain and suffering.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said Thursday he could not discuss details of the case because of privacy rules. But he confirmed that the required training of managers started this summer and was ongoing.