N.D. Company Hit With EEOC Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Orientation Discrimination Against Man

A male employee in this prairie-state company put up with pervasive harassment directed at him because of his perceived sexual orientation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a new lawsuit.

In this lawsuit under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the EEOC contends that Rocky Mountain Casing Company, which maintains a workforce in Williston, N.D., subjected a male employee to harassment because of his sex, male, and his sexual orientation.

In this case, EEOC contends that Rocky Mountain Casing Company harassed the employee because he did not conform to stereotypes regarding masculinity and because of the sex of the persons with whom he formed relationships,

To wit, his co-workers:

  • called the employee by offensive and homophobic slurs;
  • defaced company vehicles with sex-based remarks about him; and
  • left him pornographic magazines with titles like “Chicks With Dicks.”

His manager piled on. He made offensive jokes about gays to or around the employee; made him the butt of derogatory sex-based comments; gave him children’s toys and board games; and gave him a hat with a Spanish slang word for “homosexual” on it. The employee complained, EEOC said, but no prompt corrective action was taken.

Employers must realize that harassing someone because of his or her perceived sexual orientation violates the law just as does other types of harassment based on sex, or harassment based on race, or harassment based on religion,” said Julianne Bowman, director for EEOC’s Chicago District Office, which investigated the discrimination charge. “This kind of abuse is unacceptable and illegal

The company is the first employer in North Dakota to be hit with a sexual orientation lawsuit by the EEOC.

Read more here about the lawsuit.


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