For the first time, the city's expanded nondiscrimination ordinance is being challenged.

Matthew Hileman, who was born a woman but is now a transgendered man, says he was forced to leave his job at AT&T when hate speech turned into direct threats.

Attorney Justin Nichols says it started when the city council began debating the addition of sexual orientation to the current discrimination rules.  Hileman's coworkers were opposed to the changes and were overheard saying they would beat someone up in the bathroom if they discovered someone was transgendered.

"He felt very unsafe, so he reported it to his supervisors," Nichols tells 1200 WOAI news.  "It got leaked back to the offenders that he was transgendered and it escalated it from there."

A "no smoking" sign that read "no fags" was taped to Hileman's chair.

"(Hileman) left and (his supervisors) basically said, 'Bring us the note and we'll ship you your things.' He never heard from them again," Nichols explains.

Nichols says his client filed a formal complaint but his supervisors did nothing to make him feel safe.  Hileman was also not reassigned within the company, which he would have preferred.  That's why he did not return.

In the complaint, filed with the City Attorney, Hileman does not place the blame on AT&T, saying "the events are not the norm."

Because this is the first time the expanded nondiscrimination ordinance has been challenged, it's not clear how the complaint process will work, Nichols says.