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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 28, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 44
No big surprise: Trump sued for anti-Gay discrimination
Section One
ALL STORIES
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No big surprise: Trump sued for anti-Gay discrimination

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A former employee is suing Donald Trump for permitting anti-Gay harassment and discrimination at one of his businesses.

Eleazar Andres, a Gay man once employed at the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey, charges that he endured harassment and even physical assault on the job, and that when he complained to management, he was fired.

Andres came out at work in 2014. After that, he says, other employees began harassing him, calling him 'maricón' and the English-language equivalents, 'fag' and 'faggot.'

In one incident, a fellow employee threw rocks at Andres, hitting him in the head and sending him to the hospital.

According to court documents, Andres' direct supervisor actually witnessed several incidents of verbal and physical abuse. Andres also lodged several formal complaints with this supervisor, detailing ongoing harassment. The supervisor did nothing to ameliorate the situation.

Following his hospitalization in the rock-throwing incident, Andres complained to one of the golf course managers. The manager promised to take care of the problem but later reneged.

When Andres asked for information about his attackers for a police report he planned to file, the manager refused. Andres filed the police report anyway and informed management that he no longer felt safe going to work. Management promptly fired him.

All of this amounts to sexual orientation harassment, a hostile work environment based on sexual orientation, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and unlawful retaliation, Andres charges in his suit. He is also suing Trump's golf course for assault and battery.

He argues that the club is liable 'for the acts constituting hostile work environment' and 'sexual orientation harassment' because it 'failed to properly address' his complaints and 'failed to implement any preventative or remedial measures to protect against unlawful harassment' and discrimination.

Andres' suit lists a variety of training programs and policies recognized by the courts as effective tools for combatting discrimination. Instead of implementing these policies, Andres argues, the club displayed 'egregious' and 'willful indifference' to his ceaseless homophobic harassment, an indifference that allowed the mistreatment to escalate dangerously.

Rather than taking 'proper corrective action,' the club terminated Andres' employment 'as a result of his complaints of workplace harassment and discrimination,' which constitutes unlawful retaliation under New Jersey law.

Andres also charges that his former employer is liable for the assault and battery he suffered at the hands of the golf club's employees.

Trump's attorneys deny almost all of Andres' charges. They admit that Andres' co-workers did throw rocks at him, but they are attempting to blame Andres himself, arguing that his claim is barred by the so-called 'doctrine of unclean hands.'

In other words, Trump's lawyers say that Andres himself is 'guilty of inequitable conduct' and is 'a wrongdoer with respect to' his own lawsuit - that Andres somehow fostered or provoked the discrimination against him, or committed some other serious wrongdoing.

The case is now in court-ordered mediation. Should that fail to resolve the dispute, the lawsuit will proceed to trial.

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