rights advocacy group Lambda Legal announced Tuesday
that it is standing behind a Colorado man
who has accused his former employer, Qwest
Communications, of tolerating rampant antigay
harassment, even though the company's policies
promise a tolerant workplace for all.
Donald Moreau, a
46-year-old gay man, started working for Qwest in 1999
as a customer service representative and in 2001 was
transferred to another department where, he contends,
he was called "faggot" by coworkers who left antigay
pamphlets on his desk. Moreau complained to Qwest, but
he says the company did nothing to stop the malicious
treatment. The company has policies that forbid harassment.
"This is a
wake-up call for employers; their policies aren't worth
the paper they're written on if they're not enforced," said
Ken Upton, senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal.
complaints to Qwest fell on deaf ears, he went to the
Denver Anti-Discrimination Office. The group, which enforces
the city's antidiscrimination ordinance, determined
Moreau's workplace was hostile and recommended that
the work group receive training on sexual orientation
harassment. When a year passed and Qwest failed to act on
those recommendations, Moreau was forced to leave his job.
"I did everything
a good employee is supposed to do--I showed up to
work on time, did my job well, and received praise from my
supervisors even though I was constantly subjected to
extreme verbal attacks by my coworkers," Moreau said.
"I acted professionally, and Qwest had policies in
place to protect me, but they chose not to."
along with the Center's Legal Initiative Project, is
representing Moreau on the case. (The Advocate)
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