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Court says heterosexual discrimination claim has merit

Workplace discrimination in Pennsylvania often happens to people in minority or historically disadvantaged groups. There are also valid claims of workplace discrimination by people in majority groups. On Dec. 15, 2016, a court in California found that there was enough evidence for a reverse sexual orientation discrimination claim to proceed to trial.

The case in California involved a heterosexual female employee who worked as a substance abuse counselor at a residential drug treatment center in Los Angeles. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the facility, claiming that the director treated homosexual employees and clients more favorably than heterosexual ones. According to the reverse sexual orientation discrimination claim, the director discriminated against the plaintiff by calling her names, refusing to accommodate her college class schedule and telling her that she should quit.

At the same time that the director was treating the plaintiff unfavorably, he allegedly provided preferential treatment to gay people at the facility. The plaintiff claims that the director allowed six or more gay clients to be readmitted to the program right after they had a relapse while other straight clients had to wait the customary 30 days to be readmitted after a relapse. The director also allegedly celebrated a lesbian employee's birthday with a cake, which is something he didn't do for any other employee.

Though discrimination claims by people in majority groups are not very common, they may still have merit. People who believe that they were discriminated against at work because of their heterosexual, white or male status may want to speak to an attorney about their cases. An attorney may be able to investigate the incidents of discrimination to determine whether there is enough evidence for a workplace discrimination lawsuit to be filed.

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