Man Who Took Husband’s Last Name May Maintain Sex Discrimination Case Against Employer

Workers can bring cases based on sex and disability discrimination for a variety of reasons. Although in some situations the discrimination may be obvious such as firing an employee for turning down sexual advances, other times the discrimination may not be readily apparent. In a recent employment discrimination case out of Ohio, Koren v. Ohio Bell Tel. Co., a federal district court determined that a gay telephone sales consultant could maintain a lawsuit against his employer after he suffered work place discrimination as the result of taking his husband’s last name.

If you believe you have been the victim of workplace bias based on your sex, gender, religion or even your age, it’s important to seek the advice of a top Georgia employment discrimination lawyer right away.

In the Ohio case, an Ohio Bell Telephone Co. employee decided to change his last name after getting married to another man in Massachussettes. As explained by the court the worker – Koren – chose to take his spouse’s surname-a ‘traditionally’ feminine practice-and his co-workers and superiors observed that gender non-conformance when Koren requested to be called by his married name. The court determined that it was possible that negative actions taken against the worker could be evidence of discrimination. These actions included:

• calling days off for the death of the worker’s father an “unexcused absence;”
• providing Koren two certificates at the end of training, one with the last name Cabot and one as Koren;
• denying Koren promotion to be a sales coach;
• not permitting Koren to lead team meetings;
• posting his recommendation in the bathroom rather than in the hallway with the other recommendations; and
• denying him access to company intranet job postings.

The federal court determined that a reasonable jury could determine that these actions amounted to discrimination based on his sexual orientation. The court noted that sufficient evidence of sex discrimination existed under the “sex stereotyping theory” as set forth in an earlier case, Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins.

If you believe you have been discrimination against because of your sex – whether due to your gender or your orientation – its important to consult with a top Georgia gender discrimination lawyer to get you the help you need.

For more information, please contact the dedicated Georgia sex discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.