Whenever an employer offers benefits to an employee, like healthcare coverage, and the benefits can be applied to family members, the company should also extend coverage to same-sex spouses.
Recently, a former trainee manager at Little Caesars Pizza filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles claiming that the company discriminated against him, because it denied health insurance benefits to his legally wed same-sex spouse.
The lawsuit was filed in Orange County, the regional headquarters for the pizza chain. According to Yahoo!, the employee, Frank Bernard, 47, quit his job after the company refused to extend coverage to his husband of six years.
“I didn’t want anything special, I just wanted the same benefits package as heterosexual couples,” Bernard said, according to Yahoo!.
The lawsuit names Little Caesars Enterprises and its parent company, Ilitch Holdings, as defendants, accusing the chain of discrimination because of Bernard’s sexual orientation. The lawsuit claims that the benefits policy defined a spouse as “the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you.”
How Can I File a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuit?
Remember, California has laws that prohibit workplace discrimination and harassment due to sexual orientation. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects workers who have faced discrimination at work because of their sexual orientation or gender expression.
If you experience discrimination at work, you need to file a claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, who will open an investigation into the case, in addition to contacting our attorneys.
Keep in mind, our attorneys work hard to give clients guidance when they encounter discrimination. If your employer has withheld benefits or payments or you have experienced harassment because you are gay, contact us immediately.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys