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Former Lowe's Employee Sues For Antigay Discrimination And Harassment

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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 AdvocateHaimowitz, 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.


California Lowes Employee Threatens Gay Family: 'I'll Be at Your House' - VIDEO

Smythe

Jeremy L. Smythe and Daniel Soto, a gay Riverside, California couple, have filed restraining orders against two employees at Lowes after they said they were threatened by employees Andy Olague and Frank Villa when they came in accompanied by their teen son to complain about a product.

LowesABC7 reports:

Smythe said he approached the customer service counter and said he wanted to return the product, saying it wasn't working well. When he told the clerk he didn't have a receipt, but that it was likely under his Lowe's account information, for some reason the clerk became angry and annoyed.

"He says, 'Just so you know, if you'd read the [expletive] directions, you would see that you have to charge it for 12 hours to make it work correctly,'" Smythe said.

Smythe says he responded with, "Don't talk to me like that, I'm definitely not the one to talk to like that."

But the Lowe's employee only grew more hostile, allegedly making anti-gay slurs. According to Smythe, the clerk then said, "I'll beat your [expletive]. I'll say what [expletive] I want."

Smythe admitted firing back at the cashier at that point, saying, "No wonder you haven't been promoted." And that was when he says the cashier tried to attack him and had to be restrained by the assistant manager while saying, "I got your address, I got your phone number, I'll be at your house."

Watch ABC7's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

A rally at Lowes has been organized:

Jeremy Smythe, of Riverside, said the protest against the Lowe’s at 9851 Magnolia Blvd. has now been scheduled for 1 p.m. next Saturday, June 30, to allow more people to participate. The protest had been originally scheduled for Sunday, five days after Smythe and his domestic partner, Daniel Soto, say employees called them anti-gay slurs and had to be physically restrained by store managers.

Continue reading "California Lowes Employee Threatens Gay Family: 'I'll Be at Your House' - VIDEO" »


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