Former Lowe's employee Adam Haimowitz claims he was the target of homophobic taunts, verbal harassment and subsequently fired for testifying in a colleague's discrimination case against the hardware giant reports The Advocate. Haimowitz, 32, worked at the Lowe's in Orangeburg, N.Y. for 11 years, and he regularly filed complaints with the company's human resources department regarding the anti-gay harassment he endured. Haimowitz's complaints yielded no results as the alleged harassment continued.
Haimowitz's lawsuit claims a female manager called him a "whore," and said to him that the promiscuity of gay men was well-documented. The lawsuit also contains details about an incident where a male supervisor asked Haimowitz for oral sex, and that a coworker "joked" that someone might contract AIDS when Haimowitz inadvertently cut his finger. "They got a kick out of it. I guess they got pleasure out of it," Haimowitz told Journal News.
The lawsuit claims that Haimowitz was fired based on trumped-up reasons that only turned into formal complaints in the months following his 2012 testimony in support of a gay colleague who sued the company for "sex-based harassment." That lawsuit, filed by an Edward Marse, settled in April 2014 under the agreement Marse would not discuss the terms of the settlement. Prior to Marse's settlement, Haimowitz held a perfect record with the company in the four years leading up to his testimony. However, a month after the company reached a settlement with Marse, Haimowitz claims he was written up twice for a "time and attendance" infraction and for "using strong language on the floor," reports Journal News. Haimowitz's lawsuit contends he was terminated under the pretext of "making inappropriate comments on the floor."
A spokeswoman for Lowe's declined to comment to Journal News, but the company has long held a rough relationship with the LGBT community. The Human Rights Campaign's latest Corporate Equality Index gave Lowe's a score of 30 out of 100, and noted that although the company's nondiscrimination policy includes sexual orientation and gender identity, it does not offer equal spousal benefits to same-sex couples, nor does it offer trans-inclusive health care coverage, LGBT cultural competency training or LGBT employee groups.