1. TomSkylark says

    What is _wrong_ with people? Do people still think they can get away with sacking someone for being gay without a shitstorm of lawsuits being thrown at them? How dense do you have to be to think this kind of shit is going to fly without the ACLU being called in?

  2. DN says

    This is perfectly legal in, what is it, 36 states?

    It completely sucks and is obviously wrong, but I highly doubt it’s against the law in Mississippi. Goes to show how messed up this country is…

  3. JT says

    I’m fairly certain Staff Sergeant Brannon is on his way to a firing because he turned out to be a moron who makes statements that greatly compromise the state’s bullshit defense that this wasn’t a case of discrimination.

    Or is being incompetent and a legal liability a protected class?

  4. says

    As has already been noted in previous comments, Mississippi has no law prohibiting anti-gay discrimination in the workplace, nor is there a federal one, so there was no law broken here. But perhaps the ACLU is bringing the suit as a test case? It might make for a very good one.

    My question is, why would the Chief of Corrections show up to a domestic violence call in the first place?

  5. Bart says

    Good Lord, how dumb are these idiots that run the prisons? Uhm, saying you were firing him because he’s gay is not just cause. And then calling him a faggot to another worker…uhm, probably not gonna help you defend the lawsuit that will cost you your job and the state of Mississippi for a few million dollars.

  6. Vlad says

    Getting ENDA passed should absolutely be the gay community’s number one priority. It is more important in the short-term and would affect more individuals than ending DADT or even achieving marriage equality.

  7. ratbastard says

    1) The type of work contract he had is extremely important,example: most Americans are ‘Employee at Will’ meaning they can legally be terminated with no reason given at all. I’m sure even in Mississippi prison guards have some kind of contract.

    2) Homosexuals are not covered discrimination / civil rights laws in most states. He could still technically launch a civil suit, but that’s an up hill battle. Now, if his immediate boss [who sounds like he is also black, judging by his name] had called him the N word instead of faggot, he could claim racial discrimination.

  8. Jeremy says

    There’s no law prohibiting discrimination based on sexuality, but you’re missing the point that public employees cannot just be up and fired. There is a LONG and well documented procedure for the release of any public employee. The fact that they dismissed him immediately, without any reason, documentation, or review period, and without consulting the appropriate state offices is what is illegal.

  9. Chris says

    The reason he is able to sue even though this happened in Mississippi is explained in the video: It’s because he was a government employee. Government employers can’t discriminate against employees for being gay unless they can prove that doing so is reasonably related to an important governmental interest. And government employees have some additional due process rights under the 14th Amendment that people who work for privately-owned businesses don’t have.

  10. david026257 says

    It will soon come as a novel surprise to Defendant Donnell Brannon that Plaintiff Andre Cooley will soon own Defendant Donnell’s ass – as well as the Department of Corrections and most of the County of Forest, Mississippi.

    Sue these fuckers into hell.

  11. TANK says

    Can you imagine the outrage that would ensue if an employer fired a heterosexual woman who was abused by her husband? ENDA, baby! IT matters…I hope the sheriff’s dept gets gored in court, and this douche loses his job.

  12. ratbastard says

    The video isn’t clear actually. Mr. ACLU said it’s illegal for any public sector employees to be fired in all states without I take it ‘just cause'; Cooley I assume is an employee of a county and state, not a federal employee. The federal government can stipulate such regulations in regards to state public sector employees? I’m sure he has a contract being a public sector employee [he’s not an employee at will] so yeah, they have to prove he did something to warrant termination. But he can’t sue in Mississippi for gay civil rights violation. Actually, you can sue civilly for anything, in any state, but it’s an uphill battle.

  13. ratbastard says

    Depends on where you live in the U.S. Free&Clear. Aside from serving openly in the military [a regulation which is about to end] homosexuals have full civil rights, including marriage,adoption rights, etc., in, for example, Massachusetts.

    Work place laws:

    1) Most people [80%+] are Employee at Will meaning you can quit a job at any time for any reason, and you can be fired at any time, with or without cause. If you are a protected ‘minority’ such as a female, black, other racial / ethnic so-called minority, you can’t be fired for being a protected minority class, and it’s not unusual for protected minorities to sue for discrimination when terminated, whether true or not. It’s a big business actually. In something like 1/2 the states homosexuals are protected so-called minorities. The states are responsible for such laws within their borders.

    2) Federal government employees are a special case regardless what state they’re in. They have sophisticated,complex worker/employer contracts. Many are union members, some not all are civil service. There’s a complicated process involved in terminating a federal government public sector employee. Gays are covered under federal public sector employment, again regardless the state.

    3) Most state and local public sector employees also have sophisticated employee / employer contract, with a complicated process for termination. Some also cover gay discrimination, some do not. Many state and local employees are also union, but it varies greatly region to region, state to state.

    4) Professionals [most] have of course employee / employer contracts specific to them, which usually requires just cause for termination, and of course requires they perform at a specific level.

  14. bsmart2 says

    Mr. Cooley’s best bet is to work through the employee handbook and employee policy and procedures manuals. If he can prove that the county did not follow it’s own rules regarding termination, then he has a winnable case. I have seen cases like this that the only reason the victim wins is because some one in a supervisory role did not follow the rules as set forth in the policy and procedures. Usually government entities have a multi step process for terminating an employee. The exception being if Mr. Cooley was in a probationary period they usually an employee can be terminated without cause.

    In the states that have “At-will Employment” laws, the people who get sued and lose are the ones that give a reason. Such as “He was a faggot”. In an at-will state, if you don’t give a reason for the termination, you just state your services are no longer required. It is hard to be sued and win. Keeping in mind that anyone can sue anyone, even if they don’t have a case.

    I hope Mr. Cooley can prove that the idiots in charge didn’t follow proper procedure for termination or that they have treated another employee differently. He can sue and win.

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