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FAA & DOT Sued For Anti-Gay Discrimination

The DOT and FAA are facing a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination in federal court.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are being sued for sex discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Plaintiff David Baldwin, a former DOT and FAA employee, claims that his supervisors and coworkers objected to his reference of his same-sex partner, which they allegedly called “inappropriate.”

“Plaintiff once mentioned that he and his same sex partner attended Marti Gras in New Orleans,” according to the suit, which was filed Oct. 13 in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida (Miami Division). “Plaintiff’s direct supervisor Mark Scott told Plaintiff ‘we don’t need to hear about that gay stuff.’”

Baldwin said that on several occasions as told he was “a distraction in the radar room” when he mentioned his same-sex partner in conversations, and that he was passed over for a permanent management position because he is gay.

Baldwin was employed by the FAA as a non-permanent front-line manager at Miami Tower from October 2010 to October 2013. The suit alleges that during 2011 and 2012, at least three other employees less qualified than Baldwin, and outside of his protected class, were promoted to permanent positions at Miami Tower.

Baldwin is seeking back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, reinstatement or front pay, injunctive relief and attorney’s fees.

See the full filing here.

Comments are Closed.
Sydneyberlin October 30, 2015

@wfdude You pretty much sum it all up nicely. I was also stunned to see such talk here on the forum!

wfdude October 30, 2015

Stunned that seemingly well-educated readers of flyertalk are unable to understand institutionalized homophobia / heterosexism in the workplace. No person - let me repeat - NO person who refers to their opposite sex partner would ever face any repercussions for mentioning them in the workplace. It is so unconsciously accepted by society for heterosexual people to mention their significant others or spouses in the workplace and everyday life that you simply don't even realize how much you probably do it. It is a natural thing to discuss surface-level aspects of life -- family, travel, etc. in the workplace and it is completely absurd to expect gay people to somehow stop themselves from participating in such natural and normal workplace conversation. Of course, as typical for people who choose not to imagine themselves in the shoes of someone different than them, it's "blame the victim" because they "obviously" must be doing something wrong to deserve the discrimination against them.

Sydneyberlin October 29, 2015

@weero Agreed, Mr. Gras likely wasn’t behaving appropriately. As you say, it sounds like he’s just playing victim and is set on a reward. Yea yea... People talk about their partners all the time at a work place so if a gay man 'dares' to mention his partner, then this is 'not behaving appropriately?' You know there is a homophobe speaking when...

Alimo October 27, 2015

@weero Agreed, Mr. Gras likely wasn't behaving appropriately. As you say, it sounds like he's just playing victim and is set on a reward.

weero October 27, 2015

If two teams and several bosses one after another are "out of line" you need to ask yourself if you do actually behave appropriately. After all overly repetitive and detailed referrals of heterosexual people to their partners would also face some resistance. But I guess for a professional victim with the mark firmly set on the reward, common sense is nothing but an unwelcome obstacle.