Restaurant to pay $40,000 in pact over gay server’s harassment
A Virginia restaurant operator has agreed to pay $40,000 to resolve a lawsuit that claims its employees routinely harassed a gay server with homophobic epithets and taunted him about his sexuality, according to Washington’s Top News.
A federal judge on Aug. 8 signed off on the settlement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Mejia Corp., which does business as El Tio Tex-Mex Grill restaurant in Gainesville.
The commission’s September 2018 lawsuit claimed restaurant employees also harassed the gay server’s heterosexual friend, a busser, based on their friendship.
The settlement calls for the server and his friend to split the $40,000 payment from the company. The agreement also bars the restaurant from engaging in or condoning sex-based harassment of any employee.
An attorney for the company didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Aug. 10.
Virginia transgender bathroom case: Judge favors ex-student
A judge in Virginia has ruled that a school board’s transgender bathroom ban discriminated against former student Gavin Grimm.
The Aug. 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk is among several across the nation favoring transgender students who faced similar policies.
The Gloucester County School Board’s policy required Grimm to use girls’ restrooms or private bathrooms. The judge said Grimm’s rights were violated under the U.S. Constitution and a federal policy that protects against gender-based discrimination.
The issue remains far from settled. A patchwork of differing policies governs the nation’s schools.
But Allen’s ruling will likely strengthen similar claims made by students in eastern Virginia. It could have a greater impact if the case goes to an appeals court that oversees Maryland, West Virginia and the Carolinas.
Transgender athlete policy is subject of civil rights probe
ABC News reported the federal Office of Civil Rights has launched an investigation into Connecticut’s policy allowing transgender high school athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify.
The investigation follows a complaint by the families of three girls, who say they were discriminated against by having to compete in track against two athletes who are biologically male. They say that violates Title IX, the federal law designed to ensure equal athletic opportunities for females.
The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school according to the gender with which they identify.
Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies.
California city denies permit for Straight Pride rally
The Los Angeles Times reported a Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park.
Modesto city officials on Aug. 9 denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park.
Organizer Don Grundmann estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization.
Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities.
City spokesman Thomas Reeves said the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use.
However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Aug. 13.
Reporting via Associated Press