Every employee has a right to a safe workplace which is free of harassment, violence and discrimination. In fact, employers who either condone or engage in discriminatory actions against an employee may find themselves the subject of an employment discrimination lawsuit.
Out of financial necessity, most Americans and California residents, must work. Imagine, however, waking every morning and dreading going to work knowing co-workers will make offensive comments and gestures and snicker as you pass by. For one gay man, who endured years of workplace discrimination, his attempts to stand up for himself eventually resulted in his firing.
The man recently filed a discrimination lawsuit in which he is seeking to recover compensatory damages in excess of $350,000. In his lawsuit, the man asserts that, due to his sexual orientation, he was subjected to years of offensive and inappropriate comments, gestures and actions by co-workers. While the man reported the discrimination and harassment to supervisors on several occasions, no action was taken. In fact, the man claims his supervisors even witnessed many of the offensive and inappropriate acts firsthand, but yet still failed to intervene or discipline employees.
Upon learning the man had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, his employer found an excuse to terminate his employment. In response the man took action and filed a discrimination lawsuit against his former employer.
Individuals who have been the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment may feel powerless and fear being fired. However, not only are acts of workplace discrimination and harassment completely inappropriate, they are also illegal. individuals who have been called names, laughed at or fired because of their sexual orientation, race or religion would be wise to seek the advice of an employment attorney.
Source: The Telegraph, “Man files sexual orientation discrimination suit,” Sanford Schmidt, March 4, 2014