Home Depot Faces California Labor Lawsuit


Orange County, CA Home Depot reportedly faces a California labor lawsuit alleging the company discriminated against gay employees. The lawsuit, which was filed in California, also alleges harassment on the part of some Home Depot employees and contends that Home Depot discriminates against gay employees to avoid benefits offered under the California Domestic Relationship Act.

Courthouse News Service (10/4/13) reports that plaintiff Hardy Housh filed the lawsuit alleging Home Depot discriminated against gay employees in response to financial hardships. The goal, Housh alleges, was to lower the payroll and the benefits the company was financial responsible for. For example, Housh alleges, Home Depot was concerned about medical benefits because of the costs associated with HIV and AIDS viruses.

Housh was reportedly 57 years old and had been with Home Depot for 25 years when he was fired. He was an assistant manager at one of the company’s California stores. When the chain had financial difficulties, it allegedly sought certain employees to fire on the basis of age and sexual orientation to lessen the company’s payroll and financial obligations.

According to the lawsuit, Home Depot allegedly wrote up fake write-ups on employees who were targeted. Furthermore, managers reportedly harassed Housh, including sending sexually explicit pictures to his e-mail. The harassment reportedly began after Housh included his partner in his insurance plan.

Home Depot has denied the allegations. The lawsuit reportedly seeks $100,000.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter faces a lawsuit of its own, alleging violations of the California Labor Code and other employment laws. The lawsuit, filed in September by David Simpson, names Prometheus Global Media LLC as the defendants and alleges that the company willfully misclassified their freelancers as independent contractors, denying them wage and hour rights under the California Labor Code.

“With the exception of their status as independent contractors, ‘freelancers’ are indistinguishable from employees in all material respects,” the lawsuit alleges. This includes being in the office from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, attending mandatory work meetings and supervision identical as that given to employees. The only reason for classifying these workers as independent contractors is to deny them overtime pay, rest and meal breaks, and reimbursement for business expenses.

The lawsuit, case number BC522638 seeks class-action status.

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  1. Raquel
    October 27, 2013
    I am in a same sex relationship and was written up for performing customer service. I was told I was inpowered to giveaway up to 50$ for customer satisfaction without a management approval. This was told to the whole store on our Sunday meetings. When the new manager came to our store he didn't like the fact that I was gay I wastold that
  2. JJM
    October 27, 2013
    Interesting - after HD is a known contributor to Gay Pride Parades. Obvious that there are many who will turn against those who support them. Regardless, HD is my last stop in locating any needed parts or supplies.

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