It is easy to believe that workplace discrimination is no longer a concern in this age, however, nothing could be further from the truth. From one side of the country to the next, there are instances in which an employee has been terminated or discriminated against due to their sex, age, race, or sexual orientation.
Home Depot may be one of the largest and well known brands in the world, but this does not protect them against discrimination lawsuits. A former employee has filed a $100,000 lawsuit in the state of California against the big box home improvement chain. The man claims that Home Depot fired gay male employees as a means of saving money during the financial collapse of 2008.
In the lawsuit, the former openly gay manager at a San Diego based Home Depot noted that the company attempted to weed out older, gay employees so they would not have to be concerned with paying any medical bills associated with AIDS and HIV. Along with this, he claims the store was concerned about paying costs associated with employees having gay partners.
In addition to his termination, the man, who was 57 when he was fired, noted that his coworkers found out he was gay after he added his partner to his insurance policy. From there, he claims his coworkers harassed him and he was eventually fired.
Although Home Depot has spoken out against the man’s claims, stating that they do not agree with anything he said, we can expect this case to receive a lot of attention moving forward.
As unfortunate as it may be, workplace discrimination happens in all states in companies of all sizes and industries. This time around, Home Depot, a well respected brand, is at the middle of the allegations.
Source: Edge Boston, “Did Home Depot Discriminate Against Older Gay Employees?” Jason St. Amand, Oct. 08, 2013