If I made a complaint to Human Resources about my lead and supervisor treating me unfairly due to my being gay and then was fired, can I sue the company?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I made a complaint to Human Resources about my lead and supervisor treating me unfairly due to my being gay and then was fired, can I sue the company?

I had been having problems with my operator making rude comments to me about me being gay. I asked had asked my supervisor to change my shifts or move me from that machine and he wouldn’t. It got so bad that I stopped talking to my co-workers unless it was work related topics and my personality

changed. I was once bubbly and always smiling and I went to being silent and

depressed. After being called to my supervisors office multiple times about things I didn’t do I decided it was time to get Human Resources involved. I texted the HR coordinator about what was going on and requested a meeting with her and told her the reason. When I did it back fired on me and when my 90 day evaluation came around I was fired because my supervisor said I had an attitude with him, my lead, and my operator and that I didn’t interact with my co-workers the same way I interacted with people on my breaks. I just shot down whenever I came to work because I didnt want anyone saying anything out of the way to me. Could I file a lawsuit and win?

Asked on June 28, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you probably do not have a viable or successful case. The only unfair treatment that is prohibited are those specific types of discrimination barred by federal or state law--any other unfair treatment is legal, under the doctorine of "employment at will" under which employees have no rights to their jobs, and so no right to fair treatment. Unfortunately for you, neither federal nor your state's (GA's) law bars discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation (it is illegal to discriminate based on biological sex--e.g. is someone a man or woman--but not based on orientation). Therefore, the operator could make those comments, and the empployer could opt to terminate you in this situation rather than take action to protect you or against the operator.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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