Minnesota residents who are currently employed or are seeking employment understand that it is important to not only have an enjoyable career, but also to work in a comfortable environment. A simple act that could easily lead to an employment discrimination situation occurs when an employee believes that he or she is being mistreated due to a characteristic trait. This is often evidenced by a hostile work environment or wrongful termination. Such an incident could eventually lead to the employee filing a claim for the damages suffered as a result.
A women’s golf coach at the University of Minnesota was recently awarded compensation for the damages she suffered from discriminatory treatment by her employer. Reports indicated that the woman was hired in 2010, and when it was discovered that she was a lesbian, her employer forced her to resign from her position.
It was discovered that the University’s director of golf intentionally discriminated against the woman due to her sexual orientation in order to motivate her to leave her position. After speaking out about her treatment, it was clear that she could either put up with the hostile environment or leave, and she chose the latter.
The court recently ruled that she did endure employment discrimination based on her sexual orientation. This resulted in her receiving compensation in the amount of $359,588. This included double her back pay, compensation for mental anguish and attorney’s fees.
When an employee believes that he or she is being discriminated against based on sexual orientation or other factors such as gender, age and race, he or she may have a valid cause of action. This could result in recovering compensation for the damages that he or she suffered due to the discrimination.
It is important that employees keep any evidence obtained that would indicate discrimination, because it can help the process move more quickly if an investigation needs to be conducted. The process can be complex and emotional, so individuals should be aware of their options so they can take appropriate action. This will protect their rights, while also serving their best interests.
Source: TwinCities.com, “University of Minnesota: Lesbian golf coach proved discrimination, judge rules,” David Hanners, Mar. 18, 2014