Paizo - Care to rebuttal?


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The room issue and liability doesn't need a bold stance on trans rights to avoid being discriminatory, regardless of whether the state in question acknowledges trans folk's rights or not. Since everyone is an adult, cohabitation can (and should) be determined entirely based on consent, which can be given or not given without an explanation. If someone is uncomfortable rooming with a person that they know is trans, cis, white, male, stinky, stays up too late, eats meat, doesn't like their favorite cartoon, whatever, they can withhold consent. If you don't have consent from both (or all, in the case of more than two) individuals, you don't cohabitate.

It really doesn't matter if a man stays with a woman on a business trip, if they both consented. Just like it should not have mattered that two women consented to cohabitate. This isn't the 1950s.


Kain Darkwind wrote:

The room issue and liability doesn't need a bold stance on trans rights to avoid being discriminatory, regardless of whether the state in question acknowledges trans folk's rights or not. Since everyone is an adult, cohabitation can (and should) be determined entirely based on consent, which can be given or not given without an explanation. If someone is uncomfortable rooming with a person that they know is trans, cis, white, male, stinky, stays up too late, eats meat, doesn't like their favorite cartoon, whatever, they can withhold consent. If you don't have consent from both (or all, in the case of more than two) individuals, you don't cohabitate.

It really doesn't matter if a man stays with a woman on a business trip, if they both consented. Just like it should not have mattered that two women consented to cohabitate. This isn't the 1950s.

OTOH, consent in cases of business trips is complicated. What happens if I don't consent? Do I not get to go - and miss the opportunities for advancement, the networking and career development?

If I'm not comfortable rooming with the guy who's been flirtatious with me and doesn't seem to have good boundaries from the whisper network, but who's a drinking buddy of the HR guy, what do I do? Or, for that matter if I'm transphobic and don't want to room with the trans person?

I can say no, but do we both get separate rooms (and the company pays twice as much) or does someone else who does consent go? Do I just not get asked next time?

I'm not really free to say no without job consequences, whether I'm the one who's the problem or not.

This is more complicated than any simple rule makes it seem.


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In the description given both the trans employee and the female employee stated their consent to share a room.

Dark Archive

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Yes, people who say it is complicated are purposely trying to inflate the issue to one where we look at every single case which might occur between two coworkers, when we have an account of the actual case we're upset about, which was just blatantly not okay.

Not allowing someone to cohabitate and allowing someone else on the basis of one being trans and one being cis is blatantly transphobic. It's not necessarily maliciously transphobic, but once the policy is enacted, it doesn't tend to matter whether the person setting bad policy or enforcing policy badly hated trans people or just didn't care enough to be educated on the subject.

Silver Crusade

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Dave2 wrote:
So do I think they should be able to share a room sure. Unfortunately many state laws and federal have not caught up to this. It is what the state is going to recognizes that transgender person as not what they identify with. So Amanda and Crystal may have been fine. However, once you do that it has to be done for every employee who is transgender and indentifies as a women will be staying with other women. The state may recognize them as male. So the way the labor board and EEOC would look at it is a man stayed with a women on business trip. So unless this is done with everyone (men staying with women) then it only takes one time and the company has lost any kind of harassment suit that was filed by an employee. They could file it labor board who could supply the legal guidance. As far as Amanda and Crystal going you could not allow them to room and not anyone else. That could be veiwed as discriminatory. So it can be complex from an HR and legal standard.

Again, I ask you to show me the specific state law that prevents two people from sharing a hotel room because of the genitalia they have.


I've noticed people using the term "policy" to describe the hotel discrimination. I've read Crystal's tweets a fair few times and I'm not seeing any indication that it happened more than once? Has someone stepped forward and stated that it happened repeatedly and by intentional corporate decision, or was it just one very poor and very inappropriate decision that one time?

I dunno. Still, the number of changes enacted at the company in the wake of Crystal's departure still says to me that they paid attention during her exit interview, haha.

I fully support Paizo treating its trans employees (hell, all its employees) with the fullest fairness. No doubt. But I do think it's important to know if these are policies or just s+!~ty patterns.

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Policy, when I use the word, refers to how HR is instructed to treat these issues. The fact that a trans woman was discriminated against once shows a failure to either have a policy initially or a failure to implement that policy.

If they didn't have a policy for trans employees, that is absolutely on them and I would prefer if they just owned up to that. Companies are learning, and showing your growth is part of leading by example.


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Sporkedup wrote:

I've noticed people using the term "policy" to describe the hotel discrimination. I've read Crystal's tweets a fair few times and I'm not seeing any indication that it happened more than once? Has someone stepped forward and stated that it happened repeatedly and by intentional corporate decision, or was it just one very poor and very inappropriate decision that one time?

I dunno. Still, the number of changes enacted at the company in the wake of Crystal's departure still says to me that they paid attention during her exit interview, haha.

I fully support Paizo treating its trans employees (hell, all its employees) with the fullest fairness. No doubt. But I do think it's important to know if these are policies or just s@+@ty patterns.

The tweet I saw from Crystal sounds to me like broader than a single instance: "refused to bring transgender employees to conventions".

It could have just been one case, but she was told it was a general policy. She does say both "employees" and "conventions".

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Right. So if they followed the law that you say might potentially exist but have been unable to show any evidence of, why not just say so? Apparently things were done by the book because of the LAW. So show us that LAW that they were FOLLOWING when they made cohabitation about whether someone was cis or trans?


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As I indicated at that point you set a presidence and not only Amanda and Crystal but any other case that comes up or it is discriminatory. So it is not just that one time. Also the consent is a non issue since it could come into question and once again once you establish the presidence it want just be Amanda and Crystal but every case. So it most definitely does matter how the state recognizes you from a legal and HR standpoint.

I would agree with having an HR person and policies.

Also if it is broader issue, that is the point. It depends on how the state recognizes the transgender person. They identify as women, but the state recognizes them as a man then you can have potential issues with what the state recognizes as a man staying with a women. This is why HR and HR lawyers would advice not to allow staying same room.

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Dave2. What. law. Are. You. Talking. About.

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Dave2 wrote:

As I indicated at that point you set a presidence and not only Amanda and Crystal but any other case that comes up or it is discriminatory. So it is not just that one time. Also the consent is a non issue since it could come into question and once again once you establish the presidence it want just be Amanda and Crystal but every case. So it most definitely does matter how the state recognizes you from a legal and HR standpoint.

I would agree with having an HR person and policies.

Also if it is broader issue, that is the point. It depends on how the state recognizes the transgender person. They identify as women, but the state recognizes them as a man then you can have potential issues with what the state recognizes as a man staying with a women. This is why HR and HR lawyers would advice not to allow staying same room.

For the fifth time, please cite a specific STATE LAW that prohibits the sharing of a hotel room by people of differing genitalia.


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Mergy wrote:

Policy, when I use the word, refers to how HR is instructed to treat these issues. The fact that a trans woman was discriminated against once shows a failure to either have a policy initially or a failure to implement that policy.

If they didn't have a policy for trans employees, that is absolutely on them and I would prefer if they just owned up to that. Companies are learning, and showing your growth is part of leading by example.

That I agree with.

Just thinking it through. I do wonder how much of it had already been resolved between Paizo and Crystal but is now back in the open.


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The legal system Sorry. So if a employee (not Crystal and Amanda) stayed in the same room. One is transgender person identify as a women the other person is a women. The women becomes upset that they had to stay in the same room as the transgender person and filed a harassment case. If the state recognizes that transgender person as a male then the women could have a strong harassment case since she had to stay in the same room as what the state recognizes as a man.

This is what if but HR and HR lawyers would advise against it.

Let me say this though. If the state recognizes the transgender person who has identified as a women as a women and you did not allow them to go and share a room with another female staff member that would be discriminatory.

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Right. So if that's how Paizo acted that would be really not okay for them to have done so. Because the cis woman would absolutely not have a harassment case.

Unless like, you've got any sort of precedent, statute, court opinion, to cite here? No? Just making up a hypothetical situation where it's illegal to do what is absolutely not illegal to do.

Paizo doesn't exist there. They exist in a country which is supposed to have rules against that sort of thing. Paizo also espouses a set of values indicating they should be against doing that sort of thing.

Stop making things up and then using the idea that they might exist to justify what actually happened.

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Mergy wrote:
Dave2. What. law. Are. You. Talking. About.

I'm no legal expert and it probably has nothing to directly with the topic at hands, but a bit of research has shown me several instances of laws that make this a muddy field to operate in. Like for example HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, enacted in North Carolina in 2016, that preempted local communities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances.

HB2

or the Trump administration tacking back the Obama guidance on Title IX that "prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money"

Title IX

So there might not be a specific law against letting binary and non-binary person that identify as the same gender (hope I get all the terms right) share a room, but I can easily see how legal developments like these create a climate where a legal advisor would heavily recommend to you not allowing things that might lead to legal ramifications down the line (even if they do not pose any problem at the moment).

edit: Where's Sebastian when I'd need him? ;)


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Paizo isn't a federally funded education program so that wouldn't apply.

The reason we keep asking people to demonstrate a law or statute that prohibits a trans woman from cohabitating in a hotel room with another woman is because we believe it is very likely that no such law or statute exists.

Certainly any law or statute would be a local one, and a national or global hotel chain operating in a city wherein a convention would be happening would likely not enforce such a law unless it was in concordance with their hotels corporate policy - which it is entirely doubtful that such policy would be to limit the cohabitation of guests.


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Sporkedup wrote:
Mergy wrote:

Policy, when I use the word, refers to how HR is instructed to treat these issues. The fact that a trans woman was discriminated against once shows a failure to either have a policy initially or a failure to implement that policy.

If they didn't have a policy for trans employees, that is absolutely on them and I would prefer if they just owned up to that. Companies are learning, and showing your growth is part of leading by example.

That I agree with.

Just thinking it through. I do wonder how much of it had already been resolved between Paizo and Crystal but is now back in the open.

Given that this is an issue because Crystal posted about it since this all blew up, I doubt it was ever resolved to her satisfaction.

Silver Crusade

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WormysQueue wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Dave2. What. law. Are. You. Talking. About.

I'm no legal expert and it probably has nothing to directly with the topic at hands, but a bit of research has shown me several instances of laws that make this a muddy field to operate in. Like for example HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, enacted in North Carolina in 2016, that preempted local communities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances.

HB2

or the Trump administration tacking back the Obama guidance on Title IX that "prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives federal money"

Title IX

So there might not be a specific law against letting binary and non-binary person that identify as the same gender (hope I get all the terms right) share a room, but I can easily see how legal developments like these create a climate where a legal advisor would heavily recommend to you not allowing things that might lead to legal ramifications down the line (even if they do not pose any problem at the moment).

edit: Where's Sebastian when I'd need him? ;)

And neither of these apply. As a trans person, I'm deeply aware of all the hateful laws that have been passed to keep me from existing, and all the hateful things the previous administration did to roll back my rights. But HB2 specifically applied to things like public restrooms, dressing rooms and changing rooms. It did not apply to hotel rooms and did not state that two people who do not share the same genitalia can not share a room. If such a law existed it would almost immediately be struck down because it would bar cis straight couples from sharing a hotel room as well.

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dirtypool wrote:
Paizo isn't a federally funded education program so that wouldn't apply.

Of course not. And as said I'm by no way a legal expert, but given how the U.S. legal system works (and from my, a German, standpoint, it doesn't really work that well) and how the political climate changed during the Obama/Trump years, the question if there is a specific law is probably just part of the answer if you should allow something to happen or not.

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Cori Marie wrote:
And neither of these apply. As a trans person, I'm deeply aware of all the hateful laws that have been passed to keep me from existing, and all the hateful things the previous administration did to roll back my rights. But HB2 specifically applied to things like public restrooms, dressing rooms and changing rooms. It did not apply to hotel rooms and did not state that two people who do not share the same genitalia can not share a room. If such a law existed it would almost immediately be struck down because it would bar cis straight couples from sharing a hotel room as well.

Have you noticed how they always answer either the law part of your statement, or whether there was an issue of consent, but never both at the same time? Like how if married couples are allowed because it's consensual, then Crystal should have been allowed. If it's only married couples it's not constitutional by my understanding of US constitution, so probably unmarried consenting couples too, right?

They never really respond to the actual situation (2 consenting adults who should be able to get a hotel room together if they please) with the actual rules that were in place at the time to prevent such a thing, of which there were none.


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dirtypool wrote:

Paizo isn't a federally funded education program so that wouldn't apply.

The reason we keep asking people to demonstrate a law or statute that prohibits a trans woman from cohabitating in a hotel room with another woman is because we believe it is very likely that no such law or statute exists.

Certainly any law or statute would be a local one, and a national or global hotel chain operating in a city wherein a convention would be happening would likely not enforce such a law unless it was in concordance with their hotels corporate policy - which it is entirely doubtful that such policy would be to limit the cohabitation of guests.

There's certainly no such laws. Private individuals can room with whoever they please.

However, there may be laws or other employment regulations that prevent employers from housing people of different genders together and those laws could (even more so even a few years back) not properly handle between gender identity.
OTOH, I'm not aware of such laws and, as I've said before, I don't think it makes sense to assume their existence to excuse Paizo when Paizo hasn't even raised that as a defense. Either now or apparently to Crystal back when it was happening. Hell, I'd probably accept it now if they said they'd done it on their lawyer's advice at the time.

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Cori Marie wrote:
And neither of these apply.

And again, I am aware of this. And said so. I was just citing two examples and was talking about how laws like these can create a climate where you may act overcautiously just because you don't know what might happen down the line.

I am also pretty sure that the Trump administration could have easily passed bills that only extend to non-binary relationships. It's not as if we never ever had those to fight against.

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thejeff wrote:
Hell, I'd probably accept it now if they said they'd done it on their lawyer's advice at the time.

I think I would begrudgingly accept this as an explanation, provided it is combined with a thorough breakdown of just why that is not okay to do.


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The claim yesterday was that Paizo legally had to prevent the trans employee from rooming with the female employee. Since then no less than 5 posters have brought up legal prevention of the sharing of a room.

No such law can be pointed to. Can you point to any specific employment regulations either in the City of Redmond, the State of Washington, or in the United States of America that requires a company only allow two employees to share a room if they have the same genitalia?

Or are we just idly speculating on ways to justify why Paizo denied the room sharing so as to let them off the hook?

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It's the last one, isn't it. :(


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Of course it is.

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dirtypool wrote:
Or are we just idly speculating on ways to justify why Paizo denied the room sharing so as to let them off the hook?

Admittely kind off. I have a really hard time thinking of Paizo as transphobic when it goes so much against anything I have ever thought about them. So no, I don't want to let them off the hook and yes, I believe what Crystal has said, but I still hope there might be a less damning explanation than "Paizo is the home of transphobes and just pretends to be otherwise".

And given how much the U.S. legal system sucks, I would find it way easier to accept any explanation that points to that being the reason for the events that happen. Of course I'm just speculating with limited knowledge, and I'm not pretending to do otherwise.


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Yes it's easier to dismiss it by saying there must be some legal reason they did it, but wanting to argue in favor of an excuse you have no proof for doesn't do anyone any good.

It does even LESS good when you go post for post with people who are challenging your idle speculation by speculating further.

There is no evidence of a legal basis for that decision.

Customer Service Representative

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Greetings! Just a quick note to say I've removed a few posts. Please be nice to each other and please stop symbol swearing, thanks!

Silver Crusade

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Actual trans people who HAVE to know these laws to exist in the world are telling you that in a broad sense they do not exist. There are many hateful laws that have been passed to restrict us from living full lives, but as of now, this specific one is not one that has. At least not on a high enough level (big city, state, national) to garner national attention, which is what a law of this variety would undoubtedly do.


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Well since conventions are often out of state, couldn’t the law be based on the state in question? For example, as someone from SC my ability to record someone on the phone differs depending on what state I’m currently in and not where I’m from.

So while the claim, “the law” is weak, it is more than just citing a law, right?

And unless more objective proof other than “transgender employees” come to light we don’t have evidence of discrimination. For example, I wasn’t allowed to room with my wife in a company trip. We both went. And I just had to room alone or not go. Proof of discrimination de jure or otherwise is high, although the optics look poorly.

If other trans-folk have had similar experiences wouldn’t we see them agreeing with Crystal, to embolden her claims?


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feelsbradman wrote:
Well since conventions are often out of state, couldn’t the law be based on the state in question? For example, as someone from SC my ability to record someone on the phone differs depending on what state I’m currently in and not where I’m from.

Then by all means look it up to see if that's the case rather than throwing it out there unsupported.

feelsbradman wrote:
For example, I wasn’t allowed to room with my wife in a company trip. We both went. And I just had to room alone or not go. Proof of discrimination de jure or otherwise is high, although the optics look poorly.

That would have been a company policy because there certainly isn't a law in any state or locality stating that a husband and wife can't share a hotel room.

If you can't prove a law exists that would have caused that decision to be made, then the decision was made either as a result of a managerial whim or a company policy. Neither is good.

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@feelsbradman And again, I ask you to cite a specific state that has a law that prohibits two people from sharing a hotel room because their genitalia differs. I've asked at least four different people to do this, at least a dozen times. Nobody has been able to provide a single example of a state that has that law on the books. I'll make it easy and tell you to look for it in Indiana since Gen Con was specifically mentioned in Crystal's thread.

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Cori Marie wrote:
Actual trans people who HAVE to know these laws to exist in the world are telling you that in a broad sense they do not exist.

Yep. And at no point in this whole exchange did I say anything else.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is no state law that prohibits men staying with women. However, I know of no company, state, or federal agency that would have men stay with women co workers in business setting/trip. This is due to potential harassment issues that could arise.

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But we aren't talking about a man and a woman.


@cori and dirtypool

I am not advocating there is a law that prohibits it.

As I stated this could be just a company decision rather discriminatory, since we don’t know/haven’t heard of any other pieces of evidence or support from Trans-folk.

Sadly, we just need more evidence or other voices collaborating Crystal’s claims

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Both Jessica and Lissa have corroborated this.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Then as far as the laws are concerned it would be recognizes the self identification of transgender people. So if a transgender person self-identified as a women that is the state would recognize. The scenarios I mention are not laws, but various things that could happen that HR lawyers and HR staff could look at.

So a proactive stance a company could have is supporting such laws as a self identification law.


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I do not disagree with self identification of a person. However it does not matter what Dave 2 thinks. It is going to be based on what the state says about self identification. This is why I said it can be complex issue.


@Cori

Admitting fault, I haven’t heard of Lissa. JP’s claims could’ve been referring to Crystal (since she collaborated it- at least how I viewed it).

The rooming issue still doesn’t prove discrimination but is still horrible.

I asked elsewhere, but can Paizo even legally comment on this behavior? (In this case, legally refers to the firing/exiting of employees?)


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Dave2 wrote:
However, I know of no company, state, or federal agency that would have men stay with women co workers in business setting/trip. This is due to potential harassment issues that could arise.

Please by all means before injecting this as a possible topic - look up if there are ANY federal guidelines related to business trips.

Silver Crusade

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Dave2 wrote:
I do not disagree with self identification of a person. However it does not matter what Dave 2 thinks. It is going to be based on what the state says about self identification. This is why I said it can be complex issue.

The state does not matter here. There are no state laws prohibiting two people of differing genitalia from sharing a hotel room. Full stop. If a company decides to not allow that, then that's on the company, which again is the problem here.

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Because the company prevented something that was allowed to happen, which is a no no.

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