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Philadelphia Employment Lawyers: EEOC LGBT Cases in the News

August 1st, 2016

Currently, Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, but does not explicitly cover sexual orientation or transgender status. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken a continuously expansive view of Title VII, aggressively enforcing violations of all types of sex discrimination.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Case Settles for $202,000

Recently, a Maryland employer settled a sexual orientation discrimination case with the EEOC. An employee alleged that that she was repeatedly harassed by her supervisor on account of her sexual orientation. She claims that her supervisor made disparaging comments, as well as blowing a kiss at her and other lewd motions. The employee claims that she was fired in retaliation after reporting the incidents to management and calling the employee hotline.

This case, initially filed in March 2016, was one of the earliest EEOC lawsuits against a private employer alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The employer, Pallet Companies, agreed to settle the case with the employee who filed suit for $202,000. Of that money, $182,200 will be paid to the employee, and $20,000 will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s workplace equality program.

In addition to the financial component of the settlement, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the employer agreed to strengthen its discrimination policies by developing an employee training program that considers LGBT issues in the workplace. The company also agreed to post workplace notices informing employees that it will not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation. In addition, employees will receive contact information for bias complaints.

When the EEOC filed this case, it simultaneously filed a similar suit based on sexual orientation in a federal court in Pennsylvania. The matter is currently pending.

Transgender Discrimination Case in North Carolina

The EEOC has also recently filed a case against Bojangles Restaurant, alleging that a transgender employee experienced discrimination. The claim alleges that when the employee visited the store off-duty in female clothing, she was told to never enter the store dressed as a woman. She was also told to “pray” by the store manager, and threatened with a transfer for putting a braid in her hair. Finally, the complaint alleges that she was wrongfully terminated after calling a store hotline to complain. Bojangles Restaurant claims that it fired her for insubordination.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Defend Victims of LGBTQ Discrimination

Victims of employment discrimination need someone with extensive experience and a successful track record of fighting for employees. If you suspect that you have suffered adverse employment action as a result of your sexual orientation or transgender status, the dedicated Philadelphia employment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. can help. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online today.

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