To read Kristine Holt’s lawsuit, it would seem as if her former employer had the strictest of dress codes, prohibiting her from wearing sheer pantyhose under her slacks.
But look closer, and things get more complicated: When Holt was working for the Northwest Pennsylvania Training Partnership Consortium Inc., she was a he named Richard undergoing a sex change.
Holt, 41, filed a discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Erie earlier this month against the consortium, which administers federal job-training programs.
The suit alleges the consortium made up a dress code targeting Holt, whose work wardrobe included slacks, a bra and makeup.
“There was a lot of making up the rules as they went along. I’d go to a meeting, they’d see what I was wearing and they’d say, ‘You can’t wear this,”’ she said.
Holt, now a third-year law student at Temple University in Philadelphia, is seeking more than $140,000 in damages.
Holt describes herself as an “ex-transsexual” because “I’ve made the transition.”
But while acknowledging that she still is receiving hormone treatments, Holt refused to say whether she has undergone a sex-change operation.
The consortium first suspended her from her job as an employment assessment specialist on Dec. 15, 1992, then fired her about a month later, citing insubordination, Holt said.
The lawsuit contends the consortium imposed a dress code that applied only to Holt and was based on “notions of stereotypical male characteristics.”