Sex Plus Claim Can be Based on Sexual Orientation
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Sex Plus Claim Can be Based on Sexual Orientation

A former city firefighter filed a Title VII action against the city, its fire department and union claiming she suffered gender-based hostile work environment discrimination and retaliation based on her gender and sexual orientation. A jury awarded emotional and front pay damages totaling $700,000. On appeal, the First Circuit did not accept the employer’s arguments that the employee failed to adduce evidence of sex discrimination and that her gay bias claims were invalid. On the contrary, the court found sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding the firefighter was subjected to a hostile work environment. Further, the court could find no reason why the ‘plus-factor’ in her sexual discrimination claims could not be based on sexual orientation. 

Franchina v City of Providence