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Woman employee discharged for sexual preference

Almost half of the states have laws in place that prohibit discrimination in workplaces based on an employee's sexual orientation. In Indianapolis, there are specific protections guaranteed for public employees against sexual preference discrimination. In recent national news, an employee of a children's home claimed she was discharged from her position because she is a lesbian. She has filed an employment discrimination complaint with her state's employment commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The place of her former employment provides care to girls who have experienced abuse, molestation or other family dysfunction. The 29-year-old woman says that staff and residents at the children's home knew she was a lesbian because she talked about her wife openly at work.

According to reports, the woman was hassled for not conforming to sexual stereotypes. She was told it is wrong to be gay and was asked to remove gay pride items from the residence. The former employee also claims that the other employees created a hostile environment by rejecting any expression of gay identity.

The woman claims that she was placed on probationary status even though she had received a positive 90-day performance review just prior to the incident. The probationary status required her to meet several "measurable outcomes," which included not saying anything about her spouse at work.

Representatives from the children's home claim that the employee was not fired from her job for sexual orientation discrimination and claims that the fact that she was a lesbian had nothing to do with her discharge. The former employee is seeking lost wages as a result of losing her job as well as relief for suffering. It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds.

Source: Herald-mail.com, "Former San Mar employee files discrimination complaint," Dave McMillion, June 4, 2012

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