The Auckland woman says the abuse went on for months and included a colleague referring to her as “it.”
A transgender former employee of Storage Box in Albany in Auckland said she was bullied out her job after coming out as Transgender.
Kayte Osborne came out to her colleagues a year ago at which point she asked them to begin referring to her using she/her pronouns.
While she was accepted by some of her colleagues, not all followed her wishes.
“One of my co-workers in particular just started making these little comments about me which really wore me down over time.” Osbourne told stuff.
“In response to my preferred pronouns, she told me she would call me ‘it’ instead.”
The woman also said she didn’t “believe” it was possible for anybody to be transgender.
Over time, the abuse began to wear Osbourne down and her complaints to her manager had no result, with the manager defending the other employee.
The abuse began to negatively impact Osbourne’s mental health and she was anxious to go to work.
“I’d been there three or four years, but this woman … was considered my senior. I felt like no-one would listen to me, and I was told to just accept it.”
Feeling like she had no other choice, Osbourne decided to leave. “I feel like I’ve been forced to leave.”
Osbourne is now unemployed and is looking for other work.
Following up her complaint to the business’s head office brought no apology ether.
“I contacted the head office of Storage Box and was told everyone was entitled to their opinion. There was no apology, no nothing. There’s been no resolution. It felt like nobody really cared I was upset.”
A spokesperson for Storage Box said they were investigating the matter but wouldn’t comment further.
“We are in ongoing discussions with both the employee and business owner. It’s a complex matter. As such, I have no comment to make at this stage.”
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