Transgender nurse harassed by employee at retirement home

NOW: Transgender nurse harassed by employee at retirement home


ROCHESTER, Ind. -- Gabrielle Johnson-- a transgender woman-- works as a traveling CNA, and picks up different shifts at several different nursing homes to bolster limited staffs. 

One facility she worked at was Life Care Center of Rochester, where she said an employee singled her out for harassment. 

“The first time I went there she said ‘can I pray for you?’ and I let that go," she said. I let her pray and do her little prayer, and then she said ‘Jesus loves me,’ and I let that go.”

Then, on Tuesday, Johnson said she asked that employee a simple question about her shift.

“And then she promptly screamed at me and told me that she doesn’t like me, that I’m a boy and that I need to live my life as a boy, and that God didn’t raise me this way and I need to live my life as what my gender is," she said.

Johnson was startled and upset by the outburst. She was afraid the employee would continue to harass her, so she left Life Care after informing an administrator about what happened.

“I didn’t get a certified nursing assistant license to be treated like this," she said.

The employee has since been suspended and an investigation is underway.

But Johnson feels that a suspension is not enough. 

“I want her license revoked," she said. "If you did this to me, you would do this to someone who is elderly and sickly. She should not be in healthcare at all.”

Johnson said she has been discriminated against before for being trans-- but this incident has left her particularly shocked. 

“I have anxiety and depression," she said. "And now I’ve gone back into depression. And now I think everywhere I go someone’s trying to harm me. I’m scared. I’m scared for my life.”

She said she will never go back to work for Life Care Center of Rochester after this incident. 

UPDATE 3/30: Life Care sent a press release stating it has terminated the employment of the employee who was suspended following this incident.

On Tuesday, March 22, we received an allegation that an associate made inappropriate statements to a contract CNA at our facility. The associate in question was immediately suspended, and an internal investigation was launched.

After completing a thorough investigation into the matter, the associate in question was terminated and is no longer associated with our facility.

We take great pride in the care and services we provide, and we have always striven to employ associates who deliver professional and compassionate service to our residents while treating each other with respect and dignity. We will continue to pursue that goal and dedicate ourselves to promoting a workplace that enables all our staff – both employed and contract – to feel like valued members of the Life Care Center of Rochester family.

– Holly Gentry, executive director

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