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Was New York gym coach fired due to his sexual orientation?

Employers have the right to terminate their employees, for example, if they have violated company policies, are "at-will" employees or if their contracts have ended. However, firing or terminating an employee for reporting sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination and filing a workers' compensation claim is against the law. Workers who feel that they were wrongfully discharged may seek legal remedies to obtain adequate compensation.

For example, in Manhattan, New York, a coach of 16 years at the Trinity School filed a lawsuit, claiming that his employee's contract is terminated due in part to his sexual orientation - straight.

The 50-year-old man, a father of three children, was terminated in June 2012. Under his contract, the former gym instructor was required to coach two school teams; however, his supervisor - who happens to be a lesbian - allegedly forced the former coach to coach three teams and when he refused, citing a desire to spend time with family, he was reported to the headmaster.

The man claimed that athletic director in question treated him unequally harsh, as she allegedly did not report a single, female teacher when she also refused to take on a third coaching job. For this reason, the former employee stated that he faced reverse discrimination based on his age, traditional family status, sexual orientation and gender.

The former employee added that before him there were other coaches with young children who were terminated at the Trinity School. The father of three is seeking unspecified damages in the legal lawsuit.

This case illustrates that at least in theory, not just homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender can face sexual discrimination at work. In this case, the former employee alleges that he was the victim of a wrongful termination for being straight. Now that the lawsuit has been filed, the employee will work to show the court that a violation occurred. If the court agrees that he was treated unfairly under the law, the school could be ordered to pay compensation to the teacher.

Source: New York Post, "Lesbian boss 'fired me for being straight'," Julia Marsh, Dec. 18, 2013

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