A man who works at the Los Angeles LGBT Center filed court papers against his employer Monday, alleging he was subjected to retaliation and discrimination after he requested work accommodations as an HIV sufferer in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Samuel Manning’s still-unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
An LGBT Center representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Manning says he began working for the LGBT Center as a security and safety manager in August 2018. On March 11, Manning informed management he was HIV-positive and submitted a note from his doctor stating he was to avoid social contact because of COVID-19, according to the plaintiff.
Manning’s request was denied, as was his desire to work from home, even though he could do so without creating a hardship for the center, according to his court papers.
Two days after Manning complained on March 21 that he was a victim of disability discrimination, his work email was cut off and his supervisor told him it was because he was “endangering the staff,” according to the plaintiff.
Manning says he filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Committee a day after management told him his request for work restrictions could not be accommodated.
Manning took an unpaid leave of absence, and when he came back, all of his belongings had been removed from his office, which was turned over to the facilities manager, according to his court papers.
Management ultimately allowed Manning to work from home beginning April 6, but his work was relegated to “tedious and unrelated assignments with unreasonable deadlines,” the plaintiff alleges.
Manning maintains he is still subjected to “a pattern of retaliation and discrimination” because of his disability, his request for accommodations and his “engagement in protected activity.”
The LGBT Center’s website states that since 1969, the staff has “cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond.”
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