A man who sued the Los Angeles LGBT Center, alleging he was subjected to retaliation and discrimination after he requested work accommodations as an HIV sufferer in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, has dropped his case.
Lawyers for plaintiff Samuel Manning filed a request for dismissal of his case on March 15 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rupert P. Byrdsong. The court papers did not state whether Manning reached a settlement or was not pursuing his case for other reasons.
In their court papers, lawyers for the LGBT Center stated that after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, then during the rest of that year and into early 2021, Manning “was granted numerous accommodations because of his potentially compromised immune system, including a work-from-home arrangement and substantial time off from work.”
In his suit, Manning said he began working for the LGBT Center as a security and safety manager in August 2018. In March 2020, 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 in March 2020 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 in April 2020, but his work was relegated to “tedious and unrelated assignments with unreasonable deadlines,” the plaintiff alleges.
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.”