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Teacher alleges school officials harassed him for being gay

On July 1, a New York speech therapy teacher filed a lawsuit in a Richmond County court alleging that his former supervisors harassed him and discriminated against him for being gay. According to the plaintiff, he was harassed for his sexual orientation in front of students and other teachers, and he was retaliated against when he filed a complaint.

The 39-year-old man began teaching at a middle school on Staten Island in September 2008. He alleges that the harassment began taking place in January 2009. Defendants in the employee discrimination lawsuit include the school's former principal, current principal and speech supervisor. The New York City Department of Education and the city itself are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The plaintiff alleges that the use of gay slurs and other types of verbal harassment continued even after he made attempts to address the issue with higher-ups. When the man filed a formal complaint with the Department of Education's Office of Equal Opportunity in December 2013, the individual defendants began to retaliate against him. After he made the complaint, the man was forced to attend 10 disciplinary conferences, and he was formally written up four times. All of these incidents took place over a period of four months.

An employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment and discrimination in the workplace may decide to contact an attorney who has experience in employment law. Before proceeding with an employee discrimination lawsuit, it may be in the plaintiff's best interest to gather records of complaints made to, and responses from, supervisors to use as evidence.

Source: silive.com, "Rossville teacher claims in lawsuit he was harassed for being gay", Mira Wassef, July 18, 2014

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