$2M Suit Claims Health Worker Fired for Being Gay Days After Supreme Court Ruling

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday July 29, 2020

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Stock image  (Source:Getty Images)

A Tennessee man has filed suit for $2 million against his former employer, claiming that he was subjected to anti-LGBTQ harassment and then fired right around the time the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-discrimination law — specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — protects sexual minorities.

The Supreme Court issued its ruling on June 15. Brashier was fired four days later.

In fact, the suit points to that ruling as justification for legal action, Knoxville News-Sentinel reports.

The suit alleges that assisted living facilities company Manorhouse Management Inc. fired Jacob Brashier, a nursing assistant, only a couple of months after hiring him. According to the suit, Brashier was called a "faggot" by supervisors while on the job, and suffered other forms of harassment.

Though Brashier filed a complaint about the alleged treatment — and also claimed that he was not paid for overtime he worked — the suit says that the company brushed off Brashier's claims without looking into them, calling Brashier a liar. The suit says that the company then retaliated against him by cutting his pay.

The company denied that Brashier's sexual orientation was the reason for his firing, Manorhouse Management Inc. CEO Jim Bonnell commenting to McKnight's Senior Living.com that:

"The reality is that we adopted a policy against sexual orientation discrimination long before such a policy was required by law. The reality is also that we have always welcomed any caring, talented and dedicated employee regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, color, religion, age or other protected class; things like that are irrelevant to us."

The Knoxville News-Sentinel noted that the suit is the first in the state to reference the recent Supreme Court ruling.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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