Jollibee apologizes to discriminated transgender
Fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) apologized on Thursday to a transgender who was allegedly discriminated in the company’s office.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Jollibee said it “sincerely apologizes” to Bunny Cadag, who was reportedly asked not to go to work as transcriber because of her gender.
“Jollibee Foods Corporation sincerely apologizes to Bunny Cadag, who experienced an unfortunate incident as relayed in Bunny’s Facebook post. We also apologize to everyone who was offended or affected by this,” the statement read.
In a viral post on Facebook, Cadag said she and two other friends were invited by Human Capitol Development (HCD) to transcribe for JFC’s three-day evaluation interview in Ortigas.
A day after, however, a certain Louie Angsico, one of the contact persons in HCD, called her to say that she could no longer go to work because she was not welcome in the JFC office, Cadag said.
Cadag said Angsico told her that JFC is not yet ready for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) culture and people like her.
During the call, Angsico also pointed out that the company adheres to Catholic values. Because of this, they supposedly cannot accommodate a transgender inside the office premises. However, Angsico reportedly said that the company is willing to provide work for her through “recording,” possibly alluding to remote work.
“Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam kung ano’ng dapat maramdaman. Tinanong ko si Mr. Angsico kung saan/kanino eksakto nanggagaling ang diskriminasyong ito at kung paano ito nag-umpisa – kung isa ba sa mga empleyado, o mga Store Heads na sumalang sa Interview, o sa mga guwardiya ng gusali. Isa lang ang sigurado ko sa puntong ‘yun, gusto kong tanungin yung mismong tao: BAKIT?” she wrote.
(I really do not know what to feel. I asked Mr. Angsico if where/who exactly did the discrimination come from and how did it start—was it one of the employees? The store heads who were interviewed or the building’s security guards? One thing is for sure, I wanted to ask that person: why?)
Cadag said she decided not to push through with the job.
On July 11, Cadag sent her complaint to Angsico via email, as well as through Jollibee’s official Facebook page and website. She followed it up on July 14 through JFC’s customer service and was informed that it was already investigating the incident.
But she said she did not hear anything from the company so she decided to file her complaint before the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) Gender Office.
“Ang huling bilin sa’kin ay ipapasa na nila ito sa mag-iimbestiga at aabisuhan ako sa loob rin ng ilang araw. Kamakailan lang, napag-alaman ko mula sa CHR-NCR na wala pa ring humahawak sa kaso at kasalukuyan pa ring naghahanap ng imbestigador. Eksaktong dalawang linggo na bukas,” she wrote.
(They told me that they will pass it to the investigator and will update me in the coming days. Just recently, I found out from CHR-NCR that no one has been assigned on the case yet and they are yet to assign an investigator. It would be exactly two weeks tomorrow.)
Cadag demanded that JFC explain its position.
“Higit sa anupaman, tumitindig ako, hindi lang para sa sarili, kung hindi para sa mas marami pang nakatatandang kapatid na LGBTQIA++, na nakaranas ng parehong diskriminasyon sa loob ng mga opisina o korporasyon,” she said.
(Above all, I stand, not just for myself but for all other members of the LGBTQIA++ (LGBT-queer, intersex, asexual) community, who also experienced discrimination at work.)
JFC, for its part, assured that what happened to Cadag was an “isolated incident” as JFC “does not in any way tolerate any any disrespect, discrimination, harassment, violation, or intimidation of any person.”
“This experience has taught us that we should further heighten awareness and understanding of this policy across the organization,” the company said.
JFC is currently reaching out to Cadag to personally extend its apologies. Jhoanna Ballaran
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