Cross-Dressing Trucker Won't Seek Trial in Winn-Dixie Suit

NEW ORLEANS - A truck driver who was fired by the Winn-Dixie grocery chain after his bosses found out that he cross-dressed while off duty does not need a trial in his suit against the company, according to a court motion filed Wednesday, news channel WDSU in New Orleans reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Peter Oiler, said that Winn-Dixie officials stated during pretrial depositions that the only reason for Oiler's firing on Jan. 5, 2000, was his off-the-job dressing as a woman.

Joe Cook, executive director of the Louisiana ACLU, says that the only disagreement is whether it is legal to fire someone for that reason.

In October 2000, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on Oiler's behalf, claiming that Winn-Dixie engaged in sex stereotyping in violation of state and federal laws banning sex discrimination.

The latest motion contends that Winn-Dixie officials fired Oiler solely because they were concerned about what effect his cross-dressing would have on customers if it became known that he worked for the chain.

The ACLU's motion asks U.S. Magistrate Lance Africk to rule in favor of Oiler without a trial. Winn-Dixie has until Feb. 22 to reply to the motion.
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