Gay Male Claims Sexual Harassment and Discrimination by Straight Supervisor
Plaintiff, a middle aged gay male began working for a Northern California computer company. His immediate supervisor was clearly homophobic and on nearly a daily basis made homophobic comments to plaintiff and physically threatened plaintiff, which threats, plaintiff took seriously given the perpetrators criminal background. Once the plaintiff complained he was fired. Winer, McKenna, & Burritt were retained and claimed that the sexual harassment by the perpetrator passed California’s severe and pervasive standard and that his termination was due to his sexual harassment complaint as opposed to work absences as claimed by defendant. Defendants vigorously denied plaintiffs’ claims and attacked plaintiff’s credibility based on a significant substance abuse problem which defendant’s claimed also resulted in his performance difficulties and missing too much work. In the litigation, Winer, McKenna, & Burritt conducted discovery which showed that multiple employees feared the perpetrator and his violent threats. In addition, the law firm found documents which tended to establish plaintiffs claim that he was fired due to his complaint as opposed to work absences.
RESULT: Settlement on behalf of plaintiff $350,000.