26 Jan 2017

Fa'afafine govt employee lays discrimination complaint

2:34 pm on 26 January 2017

A transgender public servant in American Samoa has laid an official complaint against her employer, the Department of Human Resources, for sex discrimination.

Simeonica Tuiteleleapaga, who is a fa'afafine, filed the complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She alleged the department's director Taeaoafua Dr Meki Solomona intimidated and sexually harassed her at a staff meeting last year by asking whether she was a girl or a boy.

Ms Tuiteleleapaga said after she replied she was a woman, the director ordered her to take her clothes off in the workplace but she refused.

She claimed her rights were violated under the Civil Rights Act.

A department employee secretly recorded the director's remarks.

Ms Tuiteleleapaga quoted the director saying "yeah take it off. Let us see if you're a woman".