A 33-year-old Black transgender man has filed a discrimination complaint with the Louisiana Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) revoked his job offer after they got to know he was once a woman.
According to WDSU, Britton Hamilton applied for recruitment into the city’s police force in June last year. After his application was accepted, he sat for the civil service exam as well as the physical agility test the following month and passed both. He further underwent a voice test in September and also passed.
Hamilton, who was born Brittany and served in the U.S. Army as a woman, subsequently received conditional employment from the police force in December last year. In January, however, NOPD moved to reverse the employment offer.
“I thought when I got my letter that was it, I was over the conditions threshold,” Hamilton said. “It was terrible for me – heartbreaking.” Hamilton was informed he wasn’t fit for the job after a “psychological assessment” and an evaluation of his “emotional and behavioral characteristics.”
Hamilton, however, believes his employment was rescinded because of his gender identity. “I was caught off guard when I saw that because I’ve been transitioning for over six years. My name is changed, my gender is changed, I’m married since 2018, legally everyone looks at — look at me, I’m a man,” he told the news outlet.
Speaking with The New Orleans Advocate, Hamilton, who legally became a woman in 2016, said the setbacks in his application process started after the NOPD got to know of his name change and gender transformation. And though Hamilton eventually received the conditional employment offer, he said he wasn’t given a uniform and supplies for the force’s academy. He added that a cisgender, who had also applied around the same period as he did and had received his offer in September, was given a uniform and supplies.
Hamilton, who also said he was informed he needed to undergo psychological and medical screenings, claimed that the NOPD screener spent long periods questioning him about his gender transition and if his parents and friends were in support of it. He said he was also told to submit additional employment and medical documentation dating back to 12 years after receiving the conditional employment offer. This was after the NOPD initially asked for his employment records for the last decade. And despite submitting some of the requested documents, Hamilton said the NOPD told him they needed more medical records.
His job offer was later rescinded because of the aforementioned reasons, he said. Hamilton, however, told The New Orleans Advocate his hormone doctor had earlier called him a “responsible, emotionally stable and kind” person in an opinion.
In a statement on Monday, the NOPD claimed their decision to revoke Hamilton’s job offer was not because of his gender identity. “The decision not to move forward with the applicant in question did not involve any discrimination against the individual as a member of a protected group,” the department said.
Hamilton is, however, adamant he was turned down because the NOPD got to know he was once a woman. “Just to be denied because of my gender was very heartbreaking,” he said. “My being trans doesn’t affect my capabilities to serve my community.”