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Former CNN employee claims he was fired for being gay

A former CNN employee is bringing a workplace discrimination lawsuit against the network for allegedly firing him because of his sexual orientation. In a report by New York’s Daily News, the employee claims that his supervisor degraded him because of the bright colored outfits he wore, and that he was told that his clothes were “too flamboyant.”

The employee’s lawsuit seeks upwards of $60 million in damages. He claims that no one complained about the bright mariachi suits he would wear on occasion, or the neon track suits and bright shirts that would accompany them. Further, the employee claims that he did not know of, and was not made aware of, any dress code that would have prevented him from wearing his “flamboyant” outfits.

However, once his supervisor found out that he was gay, the employee claims, everything changed. He alleges that his supervisor told him that his outfits were not fitting “for a male in our department” and that he would be better suited for the makeup or entertainment departments. The employee further claims that he was once given $100 to go to a local TJ Maxx store to find new clothes.

While employers in California can terminate employees for inappropriate dress (or dress code violations), they cannot fire employees simply on the basis of their sexual orientation. Employees in these situations have ways to assert their rights, and a conversation with an experienced employment law attorney could help in doing so.

In the meantime, CNN claims that it has not seen the lawsuit and has issued a tacit denial of the employee’s claims. 

Source: “Ex-CNN employee claims boss fired him for being gay, called him ‘flamboyant’ in $60 million lawsuit,” John Marzulli, May 23, 2014

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