December 9th, 2011
05:51 PM ET

Macy's employee fired for violation of store LGBT policy

A Macy's employee in Texas,  Natalie Johnson, claims she was fired for preventing a transgender customer from changing in the women's fitting room.

"I made sure to keep an eye on him because he was shopping for women's clothing," remembered Johnson.

Johnson told CNN affiliate KSAT that she has filed a complaint saying that her religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people.

Posted by
Filed under: Gender • Sexual orientation • Who we are
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. just wonderin

    I think her "religious beliefs" just prevent her from recognizing knowledge. I do think it would have been more productive and informative on the part of Macy's to reprimand her in writing and educate her, rather than firing. But I don't know exactly what their policy states.

    January 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark Starr

    "religious beliefs prevent her from recognizing transgender people" Seriously?
    My religious beliefs prevent me from acknowledging wack jobs. Macy's should fire anyone who applies their own beliefs to their job. Hun, your beliefs are irrelevant. Only your employers beliefs apply in the workplace. So if Macy's hires a guy who is a white supremicist in his beliefs, he gets to chose who he will and will not provide service to. You parents effed you up real bad Natalie.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ProudtoSupportHumanRights

    Interesting how the conservative set, the ones who usually scream that a business can run anyway the ceo sees fit, are crying foul on this one. When Lowe's pulled their ads from All American Muslim because of bigotry and prejudice the Internet lit up with people spouting off about how businesses can operate anyway they see fit. Well Macy's can operate anyway they see fit. And if your religious beliefs preclude you from doing a job according to how the business wants it done then you should be fired. Let one of your conservative bigot friends hire you then. Your religious beliefs do not give you license to discriminate against others. I think I'll go shop at Macy's today and thank them for standing up for the rights of ALL customers.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. They

    Good Job Macys. This is how companies should handle this situation.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. cindy

    I had a few transgendered friends. we would just go into the dressing rooms together and never had a problem.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • just wonderin


      January 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JaneGael

    She identified him as a man, meaning that he was not dressed as a man, but looked like a masculine woman. So...this person who is dressed as a woman should have to go to the men's dressing room to try on women's clothing. Yeah, that would go over big with all those Texas males. He might have even gotten attacked by another "enlightened" soul. The biggest danger this person was to any woman in the dressing room was that he might tell her that the dress she's trying on so does not go with her coloring.

    December 23, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Guest

    Women are far safer in the same locker room with a transgender than a transgender is in a mens locker room.
    Anyway everytime Ive ever changed in a room I went in alone.

    December 21, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Guest0112

    Some of the comments on here has got me wondering about what most people do in dressing rooms. When I use a dressing room to try on cloth I keep my underwear on. Underwear that resembles what you wear at a beach where there are little kids, women, and men looking.. If she is still a man (pre-op) it doesn't matter if she is a in a women's dressing room unless she goes in there with a video camera. As far as kids fragile minds that will suffer from seeing a man in women's clothe use the he is just shopping for Halloween excuse. You lie about Santa Clause you can lie about Halloween.

    December 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. yogi the bro.

    I swear, if I was 18, I'd wear a wig and start using the women's locker room at the gym. This transgender nonsense is way out of hand. I guy with lipstick is still a guy and should be treated as such. This shouldn't have anything to do with religion.

    December 21, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Garvin

      If you were 18 and decided to venture into a women's dressing room for a cheap thrill, then you'd belong in jail...as you were committing a crime with the intention to look at undressed women without their consent.

      That's not what this person was doing....at all.

      December 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wes

        Well said, Garvin. It's unfortunate that some people are just plain ignorant.

        January 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JanetMermaid

    She deserved to be fired. Having personal beliefs is one thing. Imposing them on others, especially if "imposing" means "discriminating against" is not acceptable. What if she refused to "recognize" blacks or Jews?

    December 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wobh

    Of course this is Texas. I doubt a trangendered person would be welcomed in the mens change room either. It seems to me the employee should have recognized the comfort of other customers and allowed the customer to try on clothing in a washroom.

    December 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. max

    Its not her place to make store policy. She could have contacted security or a manager and then been out of the situation. She was looking for trouble because of her religious views..

    December 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChuckFromAL

      I generally support equal right for LBGT's, but this is not the same. Would you want a man in the dressing room when your wife/sister/daughter/mother was in there changing? This employee made the right call even if it was for the wrong reason.

      December 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Garvin

        "Would you want a man in the dressing room when your wife/sister/daughter/mother was in there changing?" You're speaking about a 'man' who identifies as a woman. A man that has no interest in seeing another female has to 'offer'. Stop perpetuating bigotry by shrouding yourself in the 'protection of my family." There is a difference between a pervert and someone who identifies as transgender...just like there is a difference between a pedophile and a priest.

        December 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • HWB

        Gravin you are stupid. Supporting GLBT does not make you a non-bigot. It just makes you stupid. A man is a man and a women is a women. Giving each a part of each other does not make them someone special. It makes them someone in need of serious help. Grow up.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Garvin

        @HWB – I'll just refer to the comment I left under your other poorly educated statement. Good luck as history pegs you as a hater while GLBT gain equality in the US. Supporting GLBT doesn't make you a bigot, just like being GLBT doesn't make you a non-racist...I was commenting on behalf of his statement pertaining to the article. One day my children will read history books about people just like you and wonder why you think 'getting rid of them' would be a viable solution. Wanting equality for people who just want the right to live their lives doesn't make me stupid – though it would be really interesting to read your explanation as to why that would be the case.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • just wonderin

      no, because of her bigotry. once again religion was used as an excuse.

      January 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Former Republican

    What rubbish. There's no frame of reference that can support the employee's claim. She's free to not like the customer, she's free to misinterpret or reinterpret the Scripture any way she chooses. But she can't claim that her religious believe can trump her workplace responsibility. Even if the employer is open to her way of thinking. I wonder what would happen if a religious Jewish employee refused to help a customer locate the pork department or the lobster aisle at a supermarket because their religious belief doesn't allow them to recognize those who sin by eating non-Kosher food. We'd tell them that respect their views but that the job entails serving those who don't share those views. Sheesh. Why is it a no-brainer for all the minorities in the world but when it comes to these types of Christians it's a Federal Case?

    December 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wake up

    "Kids" go into dressing rooms and peep into curtains and look under doors rather the parents watch them or not, stuff happens. I don't think tranies want to hurt kids either. I just think we should use common sense our children are exposed to to much as it is. Dressing rooms should not be transgender, come on now protect the kids

    December 15, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • max

      keep your kids under control. my kids never wandered around a dressing room. not the tranny's fault of you let your kids act like little peeping toms...

      December 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JanetMermaid

      Maybe YOUR kids do because they are ill-behaved brats. I guarantee if a kid pulls a peeping tom on me while I'm trying on clothes I'll accidentally poke 'em in the nose or step on their toes. You need to teach your brats some manners and respect for others' privacy and personal space.

      December 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe smith

      The bottomline is her only reason for doing this was because of her dumb religious beliefs that no cares about. religious beliefs need to stay at home or church, not the work place. Now she has more time at home to practice her beliefs since she got fired.....lol

      January 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cindy

    She should go work at Chic-Fil-A don't they support her religious views? Better hope her life never depends on a trans person ever saving her. What will she do then refuse help?

    December 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  16. sam

    As a Gay Christian I HATE when people use Jesus as a reason to spread hate. This is the reason why so many LGBT people commit suicide and have self loathing because of ignorance and hatred that people spread. God is LOVE...love for all and those "Christians" who spread this hatred in His name better be glad He is so loving.

    December 15, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Crocky

      I totally agree. If these supposed "Christians" would focus more on the Great Commandment and Jesus's teachings of love and acceptance (Prodigal son, anyone?), maybe they'd learn a thing or two.

      December 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  17. AGuest9

    Time for three rooms, I guess. Mens/Womens/Trans

    December 15, 2011 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Bridget

      Solution is very simple. Here in Canada we have a central area of changing rooms. No "men's" or "women's", just one person per room. The attendant knows which rooms are occupied and which are empty. I don't care if the person in the next booth is male, female, or a silicon-based life form from planet Zebulon. Why do you care either?

      December 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahpalinisthedevil

      and one for bigots. Preferably out back near the trash bins.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  18. pam

    If Macy's policy is to allow transgender patrons to use the dressing room for the gender they identigy with - she should have been fired. One of my siblings is transgender and if SHE is dressed as a female, with a female name - then SHE gets to go into the ladies dressing room. as many have stated, dressing rooms have doors and locks. transgender does not equal pervert/child abuser.

    December 15, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • lacey

      if SHE has a P3NIS than the MALE dressing room is where IT belongs.

      December 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Adrienne

    Exactly! I don't know of ANY religious that even specifically MENTIONS transgender people, much less prevents recognizing them. This is disgusting bigotry and nothing more.

    December 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Matt

    She knew the rules of the store when she accepted the job. If she didn't read them, thats her problem. if she didn't understand them, then she should have sought guidance from her supervisor or human resources, again her problem. When you go to work, your religious beliefs take a backseat to the rules and practices of your employer. If you don't like the rules, then go find another job at Bigots-R-Us. What she should have done is to follow the rules, and address concerns with management after the customer left. Furthermore, I see no problem with the transgender in the womens dressing rooms, you have individual stalls, its not like the locker room at the gym. Why don't they just make the dressing areas co-ed? Sorry you lost your job, but you didn't follow the rules. There is no problem with you having you particular religious beliefs, but you cannot force them on others at your place of employment.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adrienne

      I agree 100%! I'm glad she got fired. Her religious beliefs belong at home!

      December 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • HWB

      Has nothing to do with religion. Do away with the GLBT group. Problem slove. Men are men and women are women. There is no other way folks.

      December 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Garvin

        @HWB – Good luck with that mentality – the GLBT community are your neighbors, bosses, and friends (that you don't even know of yet). As the walls close in on your bigotry, history will mark you down as one of the people who perpetuated hate just because someone, somewhere told someone that it's wrong.

        December 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Bored with this

    Oh, Ellen, you are so repressed.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Stejean

    um, I hear people crying potential rape and possible child molestation. Clearly they know nothing about transgenders. They also don't seem to know much about dressing rooms in stores. One person to a cubicle as I understand it. You don't really go in and change with a strange child or woman present in the 4×4 you are using do you?

    December 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Maggie

    Well if they are letting Men into the Women's change rooms now, I guess it is time to shop online change in the safety of my own home. They will now need to set up transgender change rooms I guess.....

    December 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Megan

      You need to learn to recognize sarcasm when you hear it rather than calling someone a moron.

      December 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9

      That seems to be the only proper solution.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  24. YepYep6598


    December 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  25. BM

    Boohoo I got fired for expressing my religious bigotry on the job, boohoo.
    Sorry, you don't get to preach your bs, refer to your company manual. If stating your religious claims and labels at customers is not kosher with company policy, then you are out of luck.

    December 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  26. religion vs practicality

    Asking Macy's to bend their policies to her will, which might negatively affect their business, just so she can go back to work there is ridiculous. There are probably hundreds of open-minded unemployed people who will happily take her place & do the job right, not according to their personal religious beliefs.

    December 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Modthought

    Trying on clothes often precedes buying clothes. Both are processes a retail employee should know enough to accommodate and encourage.

    December 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tacitus Talks

      And as a father of two daughters and two grand daughters, I do not want a MAN in a dressing room with them while THEY ARE TRYING ON clothes. And he IS A MAN.

      December 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • BM

        You are welcome to shop at hick clothes co or whatever other bigoted stores support your narrow minded views. I am sure macy's will recover!

        December 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Observer

        Uh, whether you agree with it or not, if the MAN believes himself to be a WOMAN, then that person would not have ANY interest in your two daughters and two granddaughters! Think about it!

        December 14, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
      • therealhawkman

        The problem to me would be: Is the person a women in mind and body or actually a man physically? If a man still physically, then that person should not be allowed in the women's dressing area. Simple as that. Don't care what the persons mindset is, the physical portion is the issue when it comes to young ones in the dressing area. Not difficult for anyone to understand is it?

        December 14, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
      • vikes

        agree, what if he's just creep

        December 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • max

        then keep your daughters out of other women's stalls

        December 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Shaneeda Quit

    I might sympathize with the employee if requested the transgendered customer to change in the men's dressing room instead, and he refused.

    December 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irritated

      You mean if she asked HER to change in the men's room, and SHE got offended at being asked to change with MEN, which she clearly does NOT identify with? Idiot.

      December 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • bosox21

        so all some pedo has to do is pretend to "not identify with men" and they can have free reign to enter a woman's dressing area. Hes a man and should change in the mens dressing room

        December 13, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  29. DCTexan

    Well...if it is the policy of Macy/s to allow biological men into the the women's changing rooms my wife will not be shopping at any Macy's in the future! This has nothing to do with LBGT policy and EVERYTHING to do with safety and propriety.

    December 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Getoutofmydressingroom

    For the love of God. In this week of Perverts like Penn State's Sandusky, if I were a shopper at that Macy's and saw a man being permitted into the Women's Dressing Room, as a shopper I would have reported it. Women constantly bring their children, both girls and boys, into the Women's Dresssing Rooms. What is wrong with Macy's? The Macy's Clerk is supposed to know this man is transgender but not a child freakster? How??? Macy's is wrong on this all the way to the courtrooms.

    December 10, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • DCTexan

      First time a child gets molested or a woman raped, I hope Macy's gets sued into bankruptcy! Maybe the new owners will have a pinch of common sense...and courage.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Becky

        The most likely offender would be a narrow minded slack-jaw that you are related to, not a person who has been overly aware of how they have never felt comfortable in society. I'm more offended by your stupidity than if a trans-gender woman walked into my changing cube and goosed my boob!

        December 20, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pattysboi

      Macy's was correct in firing this bigot. Were I the hiring director there, I would NOT want her working in the store where she comes into contact with customers.

      December 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irritated

      I agree with Pattisboy. This bigot deserved to get fired. How is shopping for clothes bothering women or children? Stop using this as a way to condone bigotry!

      December 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voice of reason

      Religion is the greatest form of crowd control and it has all you close minded fools worked into a lather. The Sandusky case has no correlation to this case, he's an old white man who is a creepy pedophile. There is no reason to think that just because someone is transgender they are a pedophile, NONE. "Women constantly bring their children, both girls and boys, into the Women's Dresssing Rooms." Good, with proper parental supervision, the actual creeps, whoever they are because you usually can't tell by looking at them, won't have any prey. If anyone tries to sue Macy's I hope they lose and have to pay the legal fees for Macy's and the time wasted using the court system.

      December 19, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  31. Fuyuko

    Its not as though there really is a good reason to prevent a man from going into the women's dressingroom. The rooms are pretty well secured up so even if he wasn't transgender, I don't see why its an issue. If he's trans and the store says they are allowed then they are. Not up to us to make the rules on that.

    December 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irritated

      True. I have never had a problem in a dressing room except once when a lock was broken, but I KNEW the lock was broken when I went in. I chose to use the room anyway, because the others were full, and a woman accidentally walked in on me. It was MY choice to use the room that didn't lock properly. Otherwise, there is no reason to worry. Doors lock! It's not like the old days when we only had curtains protecting us for goodness sake!

      December 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Until there is an assault in the women's dressing room by a man acting as transgender. Then the woman sues the store because the store did not provide a safe enough environment. And that new security policy will stay in place until the next transgender person feels like they are being discriminated against.

      December 23, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |