US: Austin Car Dealership Says First Amendment Gives Company Right to Out Trans Employee

A car dealership in Austin, which is being sued for discrimination by a transgender employee, says freedom of speech gave the company the right to out the employee to other staff members.

On August 1, Bradley R. Rudkin, a trans man and the former general sales manager of Roger Beasley Mitsubishi, filed a lawsuit against the dealership after being fired without notice and without any prior written or verbal warnings.

The Roger Beasley Automotive Group has Mazda dealerships in North and South Austin, Georgetown, and Killeen; Hyundai dealerships in Kyle and New Braunfels; and a Mitsubishi dealership in South Austin.

In his suit, Rudkin maintains he was discharged from the dealership on the basis of his sex; that Beasley failed to honor the terms of his employment agreement, salary and commissions; and that Beasley managers invaded his privacy by disclosing his transgender status to the dealership’s other employees.

On October 12, Beasley filed a motion to dismiss Rudkin’s claims that his privacy was violated by saying the disclosure of his trans status was an “exercise of the right of free speech on a matter of public concern.” Read more via Out in SA