Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Anti-gay graffiti in workplace may cost Metro Nashville

Hostile work environment among the causes of action:

Les “Bud” Buckner, who remains an employee at Metro Water Services, sued the city over alleged sexual harassment after slanderous graffiti was directed at him from the time he was hired more than seven years ago.

The slurs continued to appear at work areas Buckner frequented from October 2010 through February 2013, written in vehicle bays, the restroom at the Third Avenue water department office where Buckner works, inside work vehicles and at a gas station, according to his lawsuit.
According to the suit, Buckner complained to supervisors on multiple occasions “to no avail whatsoever.” They never even tried to identify or discipline the perpetrators, the complaint says. Instead, the plaintiff at one point accused one of his supervisors of physically assaulting him.
Last year, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $3.8 million verdict that came down on auto-manufacturing company Chrysler following racist and homophobic graffiti there. In 2011, the Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld two awards exceeding $300,000 against the city of La Vergne because of discriminatory remarks co-workers made about each other.

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