California restaurants launch statewide transgender employment program

State grant will pay for the first 60 hours of a new hire's wages as an incentive for business owners
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(photo from iStock)

The following comes from an October 25 Fox News story:

The state of California has officially backed a new program aiming to assist transgender people find jobs in the restaurant industry.

The new California Transgender Workplace Project says it wants to reduce workplace discrimination and stigmas associated with transgender individuals– while combating the historically low rates of unemployment throughout the community. The placement program also says it will also help those who identify as transgender find work in jobs and environments that are both friendly and safe.

A state grant will pay for the first 60 hours of a new hire’s wages as an incentive for concerned business owners, reports NPR. According to the Movement Advancement Project, transgender people face an unemployment rate that’s twice as high as the national average.

The move followed a push from Michaela Mendelsohn, a transgender woman who has employed trans people at her restaurants for years.

Mendelsohn, who owns several El Pollo Loco franchises in southern California, became aware of the issue following an interview with a job applicant who explained how difficult it was to obtain a position.

Mendelsohn started making moves and, she told NPR, “currently, we have 8 to 10 percent of our total workforce is transgender, out of about 150 employees.”

“This is a civil rights issue,” said Jot Condie, Mendelsohn’s long-time friend and the head of the California Restaurant Association.

As for concerns over the customer reaction to being served by a transgender employee, Mendelsohn said she’s not worried. “You know, you always hear the thing, ‘The customer’s always right,’”” she said. “In my restaurants, the customer’s always right unless they attack you personally.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    for a while parts of the country adopted the gender-neutral term ‘waitron’ to avoid the waiter-waitress terminology. so you can guess what’s coming next….’my name is X and i’ll be your waitran”,,,,, ‘waitron’ in theory should still cover the territory, but there is a current thrill in naming the new that probably will be need to be celebrated by those who see the restaurant initiative as a ‘ breakthrough’. we are so lucky that this is all based on solid, established science.

    • Jim McCrea says:

      I have never heard “waitron.”

      “Server” fits the purpose of neutrality quite well.

      • david drewelow says:

        i checked out the backg round of waitron and it is not attested to in print until 1980. i would hazard a guess that it was invented by feminist impulses that were unhappy with words ending in ess designating a separate category (they always felt it implied separate and unequal). and so went away actress, stewardess, etc. jimmy carter once gave a speech praising leif erikon and caused the press to titter when he referred to him as a ‘norseperson’, fully applying the gender-neutral rules set. server works just fine for me,too, but i read that waitperson is gaining the upperhand.

    • How ’bout Waitroid?

  2. There are no transgenders, only people with severe mental illnesses who believe or wish themselves to be the opposite sex than they are. Catering to and encouraging their delusions about themselves doesn’t help them at all.

  3. Transgenders have a legal right to their insanity and I have a legal right not to eat at any restaurant that employs them.

  4. Bwangi Kilonzo says:

    This is looney. Get these people some medical help, because they will sue the state eventually for abuse.

  5. Your tax dollars at work…

    • Ain’t it the truth.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      The hope is that it will save lots of tax dollars in the long run. Transgender individuals suffer horrible employment discrimination & many live in utter poverty. By giving a person meaningful employment, far less government money is spent on unemployment compensation, food stamps, medical &mental health problems associated with unemployment, homelessness, housing assistance, etc. Paying 60 hours is nothing in the grand scheme, and will be repaid dozens of times over in income tax, etc.

  6. FromThePew says:

    Hey the California restaurants aren’t doing anyone a favor with this employment program. Really, the Calf. state government needs to make it a priority to hire more transgender people as interns or assistants. Wouldn’t that be better paying, less stressful jobs? Restaurants aren’t good enough when you think of the long hours, stressful back breaking work and low pay. I think all of the democratic office staff should GO FIRST & make it a point of hiring them. Instead of trying to push these poor souls off into grueling restaurant work. Give them a decent job in government. Hey Jerry Brown, how many are in your headquarters? From a mental health standpoint, they need better.

  7. Didn’t restaurants use to be about aroma and flavour, friends and family, and just good ol’ hearty fare? Hairy knuckles on my waitresses . . . tends to kill the ambience.

  8. Anonymous says:

    the threshold for ‘slander’ or insult of transies by addressing them with the wrong title terminology is very tenuous. one wrong slip and you’ll have a hate crime court case. best solution, avoid those restaurants.

  9. helen wheels says:

    more family meals — at home!
    learn to cook if necessary.

  10. Linda Maria says:

    I feel personally very uncomfortable, being served in any business, that employs people who look and dress in bizarre, violent, anti-society ways. Ugly tattoos, green or purple hair streaks, many holes in the ear, nose, and etc., with strange jewelry attached– are unwanted, and disrespectful! To serve others, means just that- not serving YOURSELF!! Recently, I went into a San Francisco store, to buy a needed item– and a very strange-looking, burly young man in a short skirt and blouse, checked me out, at the cash register! I think it is very important, to have and abide by, a good business dress code, with good manners, and to try to help the mentally ill conform to society, and make the best of their situation!

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