Discrimination in the workplace not only can affect one’s job performance, but a person’s emotional state as well. Unfortunately, even though many are aware of the harm caused by workplace discrimination, it nonetheless continues in both public and private places of employment. One San Francisco man has filed a lawsuit making such a claim against the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, alleging that he was fired by the department because he is gay.

The man, who was formerly a sheriff’s deputy in Merced County, was hired in 2008. However, he says that after he was hired, he was repeatedly the victim of harassment. In one incident in 2009, someone painted over his personal property with the word “homo” in nail polish. In another incident in 2010, someone taped his business card to his locker and wrote the words “Aids Maggot” on it.

These two incidents were not the only ones. The 33-year-old former deputy recounts a number of times when members of the California Highway Patrol mocked him. He filed numerous claims with the management during this time, but to no avail. In 2011, he was fired from the Sheriff’s Department.

In his workplace discrimination lawsuit, filed on April 26 with a superior court in San Francisco, the man says that the incidents caused him emotional distress. He is currently going through an arbitration process that could lead to his eventual return to the job, but he is also requesting $5 million in the lawsuit. The compensation is meant to cover his emotional pain and suffering and lost wages.

Source: The Modesto Bee, “Ex-Merced deputy sues over sexual harassment because he’s gay,” Mike North, May 2, 2012