Bay Area worker files sexual orientation harassment suit

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in Admins,Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources,Office Management

A former clerical worker is suing a San Francisco Bay Area-based trucking company, claiming he was harassed and subsequently fired for asking about medical benefits for his same-sex partner.

In his complaint, which was filed in Alameda County against Seaside Refrigerated Transport Inc., Claudionor Fernando Sampaio alleged that after inquiring about the benefits, co-workers and supervisors “began making frequent comments about his sexual orientation.” They allegedly called him “Fernanda” instead of Fernando, and told him “God hates fags.”

Sampaio also claims an office manager told him he couldn’t use the restroom “because he would contaminate it.” He claims that when he did use the office restroom, “co-workers harassed him by immediately and repeatedly pounding on the bathroom door.”

Sampaio claims that the harassment started after a conversation with HR manager Dianna Johnson-Beggs. Sampaio says the harassment continued until he received a letter stating that his position had been eliminated because business was slow.

Sampaio claims, however, that before Seaside learned he is gay, supervisors had asked if he would be available to work more hours.

In the lawsuit, Sampaio alleges sexual orientation harassment, failure to prevent harassment, discriminatory termination on the basis of sexual orientation and wrongful and retaliatory termination in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. He also alleges violations of the California Constitution’s right to privacy, as well as defamation.

According to his complaint, “By disclosing his confidential personal information, learned by Seaside as a result of Sampaio’s inquiries regarding medical benefits, Seaside caused a serious invasion of Sampaio’s fundamental privacy interests.”

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