HomeFocusCommunityBusinessesEventsLinksContact Us


San Antonio
Movie Reviews

Business Directory
Bars & Saunas
Social Organizations
Community Organizations
Health Services
Religious Organizations

When Matthew Hileman went to work at AT&T on September 18, he found a note, similar to the illustration above, on his chair.

Transgender man files complaint against AT&T for violation of NDO
QSanAntonio, January 7, 2014

A transgender man who was fired from AT&T in San Antonio is using guidelines from the recently enacted nondiscrimination ordinance to file a complaint with the city attorney's office claiming the company dismissed him because of his gender identity.

The complaint was delivered on January 7 by the office of attorney Justin P. Nichols to deputy city attorney Veronica M. Zertuche, on behalf of the complainant, Matthew Hileman.

The complaint is the first filed under the nondiscrimination ordinance, which was passed by the City Council on September 5 of last year.

The new law requires any company that does business with the city to include LGBT protections in their nondiscrimination policies. AT&T has active and ongoing contracts with the city.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained by QSanAntonio, Hileman began working for Resource Global Professions in May of 2013 providing information consulting services to AT&T. His work was performed exclusively at the AT&T facility on N. St. Mary's Street.

Hileman identifies and presents himself as a male. He and his wife are longtime residents of San Antonio. He was hired as a man and until the time of the complaint, he never told anyone at AT&T that he was transgender.

On September 4, Hileman says he heard two fellow employees, Ropel Anderson and Gerry Bush, discussing the then-proposed nondiscrimination ordinance.

The complaint states, "Anderson and Bush were specifically and personally overheard by Hileman stating their desire and willingness to commit acts of violence against transgendered persons, particularly if such a person was discovered in a restroom."

The conversation took place in an open area of the workplace where other employees could hear what was said.

Hileman reported the incident to his AT&T supervisor, Hortencia Morales, revealing to her that he was transgender and feared for his safety. Morales informed Ralph Elke the department manager who then met with Lanie Smith, Anderson's supervisor.

Hileman was told he had to make a formal complaint with the AT&T Human Resources department which he did on September 7. At that time, he was asked to sign a statement saying he felt safe to return to work.

According to the complaint, "On or about September 13, 2013, Hileman was told by Morales he would need to meet with AT&T’s Human Resourcse department to assist in the investigation of the complaint. Hileman attended a meeting and was told the matter would be resolved."

When Hileman went to work at AT&T on September 18, there was a piece of paper on his chair with the message "no fag" (similar to the illustration at top) on it.

Hileman realized that Anderson and Bush must have been told of the complaint and probably learned he was transgender. Hileman left the office out of fear for his safety and reported the incident to his supervisors.

Hileman was asked to bring the paper with the offensive message to the Human Resources Department. At that time he expressed discomfort at having to work with Bush and Anderson. He returned to the office to pick up some of his personal belongings with the understanding that he would be reassigned.

On September 20, Hileman was contacted by Amada Stewart of AT&T and told that some additional personal belongings of his were found in the office and they would be shipped to him by mail. After that, Hileman never heard from AT&T or Resource Global Professions again.

In October, after not being reassigned to another position, Hileman applied for unemployment benefits and was approved, a sign that AT&T no longer intended to employ him.

The complaint acknowledges that AT&T "is a strong corporate ally to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community." This year, AT&T scored a rating of 100 percent in the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index. Despite this, Hileman believes his case was mishandled.

In the complaint, Hileman says he "feels strongly both the letter and spirit of the City’s NDO were not followed in this case, and that AT&T, as a large contractor for the City, needs to fully investigate and resolve this complaint to bring it into full compliance with the NDO."

In the concluding paragraph of the complaint attorney Nichols writes:

"Hileman was a good employee, who reasonably reported inappropriate, discriminatory, and threatening conduct by his AT&T coworkers. Regrettably, the complaint was woefully mishandled, Hileman’s privacy was intimately violated, and an already hostile environment turned into direct threats towards Hileman, resulting in the loss of his job. Hileman hopes the City will conduct a full investigation into this matter, assist the parties in reconciling their dispute, and take other actions as the City may deem appropriate."

Transgender man files first NDO complaint, lawyer says
KENS5.com, January 8, 2014
A transgender man claims he feared for his life and left his job after coworkers threatened him. Now he hopes the city's ordinance to protect the LGBT community that was approved four months ago forces his former employer do what he considers the right thing.

Fired trans AT&T employee files complaint
Dallas Voice, January 10, 2013
A transgender AT&T employee has filed the first complaint under San Antonio’s new nondiscrimination ordinance, which protects against bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity.