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A former gay employee of Harris County Hospital District has won a discrimination lawsuit in Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. In a 10-2 verdict, the jury has awarded $102,000 in back wages to R. Michael Lee, who was terminated after he complained of sexual harassment at the workplace. The complainant asserts that he has been unable to find a job since his termination.
The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff suffered from sexual discrimination at the hands of his colleagues at the workplace. The plaintiff alleges that his employer retaliated against him when he complained of discrimination against his colleagues and terminated him two weeks later. While awarding the case to the plaintiff, the Harris County jury found that the defendant retaliated against the plaintiff as a result of his complaint.
The plaintiff complains that while working as a senior project manager, he felt “personally attacked” when his seniors made a homophobic remark targeting him. The complainant alleges that when he made a formal complaint to his supervisors, the latter did not take any action. The lawsuit asserts that the supervisor, who was one of the persons accused of the incident, did not report the same to the hospital district. The plaintiff complains that, by doing so, the manager did not abide by the personnel policies of the hospital district and also discriminated against him.
The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff was targeted as being “defective.” The complainant accuses his seniors of “saying hiring your type was the worst mistake ever made.” The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff was repeatedly subjected to discrimination, alleging that colleagues made disgraceful comments against him. The plaintiff alleges that his colleagues “indeed intended to discriminate against me because I am a gay male.”
The lawsuit asserts that, despite repeated complaints from the plaintiff, no action was taken on the issue by the defendant company, nor did it investigate the issue. Contrarily, the plaintiff alleges that he felt being a victim of retaliation when he was terminated his employer by citing a loss of confidence and poor judgment as the reasons, which the complainant complains “didn't add up, especially given the hospital district's progressive discipline policy that was not followed in this case." The plaintiff complains that, while he was sacked, the seniors who made the homophobic comments continue to work at the district.
The court awarded the plaintiff with attorney’s fee and a year’s back pay. However, the plaintiff is not interested to join the hospital district again. Expressing his unwillingness to go back to the hospital district, the plaintiff claims that, through the lawsuit, he seeks better working conditions at the workplace for gay employees.
Other Similar Discrimination Lawsuits
Recently, a jury awarded $100,000 to an Ohio lesbian in an employment discrimination lawsuit. The plaintiff accused her employer, Child Support Enforcement Agency, of repeatedly denying her promotions due to her sexual orientation. The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff was repeatedly subjected to discrimination once her employers learned that she was a lesbian, passing off the promotions to less qualified individuals. The plaintiff accused the defendant of violating the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution by repeatedly denying her advancement and promotions.
In April 2011, a woman filed a discrimination and civil rights violation lawsuit against Forest Hills Sizzler, accusing the restaurant manager of attacking and berating her due to her actual or perceived homosexuality. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff was subjected to “a horrifying ordeal of discrimination, violence and degradation." The plaintiff accuses the Sizzler of violating her civil rights, alleging that she was kicked, shoved, thrown, and abused by the manager, who called her a "f...... dyke." The complainant claims that the harassing and discriminatory action of the manager created a “homophobic and hate-filled” atmosphere.
In May 2011, the city of Roseville settled a lawsuit with three plaintiffs, who included present and former police officers, for $490,000. The lawsuit accused the police department of discriminating against gay officers. The plaintiffs alleged that senior police officers openly ridiculed homosexuality and subjected homosexuals to hostile working conditions. The plaintiffs claim that they were denied opportunities for promotion and advancement because of their homosexuality.
In 2010, a Buxton gay was awarded over $1 million in lawsuit against Express Jet Airlines, his former employer. The lawsuit claimed that the plaintiff suffered discrimination at his job because he is gay. The plaintiff alleges that he was frequently passed up for promotion due to his sexual orientation. The jury, awarding the plaintiff $500,000 for emotional pain, $47,000 for lost wages, $500,000 for punitive damages, found that the defendant violated the Human Rights Act, which has no place for homophobic discrimination.
In January 2010, popular online dating service eHarmony settled a class-action homosexual discrimination lawsuit, when it agreed to pay about $500,000 to 150 plaintiffs and about $1.5 million in attorney's fees. As a result of the lawsuit, the defendant company has agreed to make the online dating website more welcoming for homosexuals.
In 2008, a settlement was reached between Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell in a homosexual discrimination lawsuit, which claimed that the plaintiff was a victim of sexual orientation discrimination. The lawsuit accused the defendants of discriminating against the plaintiff because of his homosexuality.
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