The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is suing a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona, for creating a hostile work environment for a gay employee and an employee who was thought to be gay.
The lawsuit alleges that the employees were called “faggot,” received lewd comments in front of coworkers, and were physically assaulted by coworkers at 5th & Wine restaurant. When they reported the treatment to supervisors, they were told not to complain, lost tables and therefore tips, and were ultimately fired.
Even though no federal law bans sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace, in 2015 the EEOC started interpreting the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation discrimination. The EEOC argues that discrimination based on preconceived notions about men and women is prohibited, and that those preconceived notions include sexual orientation.
While the EEOC is an independent agency, its commission is appointed by the president. Donald Trump is expected to make at least two high-level appointments to the EEOC in his term.
According to BuzzFeed, the White House has refused to comment on this case.