There is potentially good news for LGBT employees in California. A former Hesperia Unified School District high school teacher will get her day in court. The school district has tried twice to get the case dismissed. On Jan. 16, a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge ruled that the case can proceed.
The case alleges workplace discrimination. The teacher claims she was fired because of her sexual orientation and because she supported students at her school that were victims of sexual orientation discrimination. She was an untenured teacher who, in the fall of 2012, helped her school’s Gay Straight Alliance club get help from the ACLU. The following February, she was informed that her teaching contract would not be renewed.
The school district claims this action was legal. Untenured teachers can be let go without cause, and she was one of 13 such teachers that year. The claimant’s legal team says it was a retaliatory move related to the role she played in helping gay students file formal complaints that resulted in changes to district policies and training procedures.
The two sides next meet in court on Feb. 19. One of the members of the legal team suggested that the case has important implications for the LGBT community.
In spite of the gains the LGBT community has made in recent years, such discrimination is still common. It may be less blatant than it once was, but it has certainly not been extinguished. A good lawyer may help a victim of this kind of discrimination to seek redress. When a case like this one is successful, a claimant may be awarded compensation for the damages suffered by the discrimination. This may include funds that cover lost pay and other losses.
Source: San Bernadino County Sun, “Hesperia Unified: Former teacher’s discrimination suit gets go-ahead,” Beau Yarbrough, Jan. 22, 2015