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Woman sues employers who fired her because of perceived lesbianism

Earlier this week, we wrote about a new bill being considered by state legislators that would outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in the entire state of Florida. It is known as the Competitive Workforce Act.

While many Floridians already live in communities where GLBT rights are protected in the workplace, there are no state laws against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Discrimination continues to be a problem in Florida and elsewhere. Sometimes employers will not hire someone because of even slight suspicions that they could be gay or lesbian. Recently, board members of a youth center in West Virginia hired a woman then rescinded the offer. She claims it is because they perceived her as a lesbian after researching her on Facebook.

The woman was hired on June 13 after a number of successful interviews. After being hired at the center, the woman put in her two-week notice with her other employer.

While she was serving out those two weeks, a member of the board called her and said they no longer wanted her for the job, stating that there were inconsistencies in her résumé and that she had misrepresented herself during the interview process.

The woman, who has since filed a lawsuit, is alleging that members of the board, who were named as defendants in the lawsuit, perused her Facebook profile and concluded that she was homosexual.

Claiming that the action of the defendants caused her emotional distress, the woman is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. This includes both front and back pay along with getting an order that would bar the center from discriminating.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Woman says she was fired for perceived lesbianism," Kyla Asbury, Sept. 20, 2011

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