A former gay maintenance worker at New Jersey’s Trump National Golf Club has filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of extreme homophobic harassment and discrimination.
Eleazar Andres worked at the private club in 2014 and told his co-workers he was gay. Soon they were calling him antigay slurs, both in English and Spanish, as well as regularly throwing golf balls and rocks at him, the suit alleges. One attacker threw a rock at his head so hard that it sent him to the hospital.
When Andres told management what was happening things only got worse, he claims. According to the suit, his direct supervisor witnessed several incidents of name-calling and abuse and did nothing. He reported the abuse to the golf course’s managers who assured him they would take care of the issue, but did nothing. After the attack that sent him to the hospital, Andres asked for information about his attackers for a police report he intended to file. He says management refused to provide it. It was then that he informed his bosses that he did not feel safe coming to work, at which point he was fired.
The case is currently in court-mandated mediation. New Jersey has an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for LGBTQ people.
Andres is suing on the grounds that he experienced sexual orientation harassment, a hostile work environment based on sexual orientation, discrimination based on sexual orientation, unlawful retaliation, and assault and battery, Slate reports.
He argues his employer is liable “for the acts constituting hostile work environment” and “sexual orientation harassment” as it “failed to properly address” the issue and “failed to implement any preventative or remedial measures to protect against unlawful harassment” and discrimination.
Lawyers for the club deny all of the claims except that Andres was the victim of physical attacks from his coworkers, which they blame on the victim, saying his claim is barred by the Doctrine of Unclean Hands. This line of attack argues that Andres is “guilty of inequitable conduct” and “is a wrongdoer with respect to” his own lawsuit.