State hospital transgender discrimination suit settled

December 17, 2019 GMT

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A nurse has settled her transgender discrimination lawsuit against Western State Hospital for $95,000.

The News Tribune reports Kaia Rasmussen filed her lawsuit against the state last year in Pierce County Superior Court.

The hospital discriminated against Rasmussen on the basis of sex/gender by making discriminatory comments after she started presenting as female at work, and failing to respond to her reports related to comments about her and transgender patients, according to the lawsuit.

Western State did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The settlement was finalized in October.

According to the lawsuit, Rasmussen served in the Army for 20 years and was hired in 2016 as a nurse at Western State Hospital.

She started presenting as a woman at work in March 2017. Around the same time the complaint says Rasmussen overheard medical staff making disparaging comments about transgender patients.

The lawsuit said staff also failed to use the hers and patients’ preferred pronouns and laughed about it, which Rasmussen reported to human resources.

Rasmussen started suffering from anxiety, and her requests for reasonable accommodation were “largely ignored,” her lawsuit says.

She met with a supervisor in June 2017, and he “informed Rasmussen that because of her gender transition he was concerned she was no longer therapeutic to patients,” the lawsuit says.

Ultimately she left Western State.