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Former employee sues network for wardrobe discrimination


Workplace discrimination cases in New York and anywhere else in the United States typically involve race discrimination or sexual discrimination. A federal lawsuit filed by a former employee of CNN, however, alleges that the network discriminated against him for the clothes he wore on the job.

A 33-year-old man wore colorful Mexican mariachi suits to work on a regular basis, possibly fading his work reputation because he was terminated from the position last year. However, the former CNN employee believes his termination was unreasonable and cited that firing which allegedly resulted from his wardrobe choices was really discrimination based on his sexual orientation. As a result, the man is now suing CNN for $60 million for employment discrimination.

According to the report, the former employee stated that his supervisor terminated his employment after he discovered that the employee was gay. The lawsuit alleged that his supervisor warned him to not wear mariachi suits in the workplace because they were too "flamboyant" and more suitable for the makeup or entertainment department.

The employee claimed the "flamboyant" comment was a gay stereotype because it happened after announcement of his future gay marriage plans. The lawsuit also alleged that co-workers were unaffected by his wardrobe choices and their reactions to his colorful style were favorable.

Meanwhile, CNN stated that the complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was dismissed. However, the plaintiff affirmed that he obtained a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC, permitting filing a private lawsuit in the federal court.

Employment discrimination is prohibited in Westchester County, whether it is based upon religion, age or sexual orientation. Employers are also banned from harassing or terminating an employee because of discrimination. A company may face serious employment law violations or be held accountable for the damages caused by their unreasonable employment practices.

Source: The Advocate, "Gay Ex-CNN Employee Sues Network After Termination for 'Flamboyant' Attire," Daniel Reynolds, May 23, 2014

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