As reported in the Huffington Post, a former Starbucks manager recently sued the company under the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. Plaintiff alleged that following her arrest for assaulting another employee, she was “accused” of having a lesbian relationship with that employee. Plaintiff denies being gay.
Plaintiff alleged (among other facts) that she was “ordered to sign an acknowledgement admitting that she has had an ‘improper’ [implying sexual] relationship with” another employee and that the company “retaliated against the Plaintiff for refusing to sign the acknowledgement by accusing her of lying, telling her that their perception is reality and scrutinizing her in a manner where other employees in her position have not been scrutinized.”
It is noteworthy that the State and City law protect against not only discrimination because of sexual orientation, but discrimination because of perceived sexual orientation.
The case is Brooks v. Starbucks Corp. and Dija Fraser, No. 0500514-2013, 2013 WL 507788 (N.Y. Sup. Kings Cty.).