At lunchtime on Friday, August 16, National Center for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE) staffers logged off their computers and got up from their desks.

At 11:26 that morning, executive director Mara Keisling had invited the staff to meet at 2pm. Instead, the office started to filter out.

“I am joining the proposed bargaining unit in walking out today and also will not be attending today’s all-staff meeting,” an NCTE employee wrote to staff in an email obtained by NewNowNext.

As news broke later that day that the Justice Department had asked the Supreme Court to greenlight discrimination against transgender workers, the nation’s largest transgender policy organization sat mostly empty. Most of NCTE’s 19 staff walked out, save the two supervisors and one union-eligible employee. Three employees were not working in the office, according to current staff.

The walkout came in protest of the firing of the organization’s survey outreach coordinator who had been tasked with bolstering participation in the United States Transgender Survey. Staff say the employee, who was black and Nicaraguan, represents the latest failure of the organization to retain staff of color.  […]