There is currently no federal law in the United States that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender. Fortunately for members of the LGBT community, however, New York state law does have such protections. And if an employee feels like he or she has been fired because of his or her sexual orientation or gender, he or she can file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
That is what a former technical operator for CNN did after he was fired in 2008. He had been working for the news company for six years and had a history of wearing bright, colorful clothing, but it was not until he came out at work that he says he faced a hostile work environment.
After his supervisor learned of his sexual orientation, he told the employee that he didn’t want him wearing certain outfits because they would be “too flamboyant” for men in the department. The former operator also notes in his lawsuit that there had previously been a habit of the technical operations department wearing bright shirts on Thursdays.
Before he was fired, the employee says this his supervisor would give him money and tell him to buy different clothes. The supervisor is also accused of lying about reporters requesting that the operator change clothes because they did not care for his outfits. The employe says that, when asked, the reporters denied saying anything.
The former operator is asking for $60 million in his employment discrimination lawsuit.
Source: New York Daily News, “Ex-CNN employee claims boss fired him for being gay, called him ‘flamboyant’ in $60 million suit,” John Marzulli, May 22, 2014