I'm being bullied/harassed at work because my daughter is gay, what can I do?

Asked about 1 year ago - Spokane, WA

I have worked at my current county government job for almost 20 years. I am competent and hard working, however this does not seem to matter. My employer and some of my coworkers have been harassing me over the past couple of years because my daughter is gay. The harassment was subtle until gay marriage was approved in WA, then it became significantly worse. My boss put hand sanitizing stations in so that they "gay germs" wouldn't spread, she then barred my daughter from the office stating "we all know what she is is and don't want her here." An added issue to this is the fact that my daughter is also disabled and has required my help and my boss has felt it necessary to make brutal accusations and comments over this as well. I am wondering what kind of recourse I have/what to do?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Brittany J. Pitcher

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . Washington law prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation/gender identity. I am not positive about its application when you are being discriminated against due to your child's orientation. I would strongly urge you to contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission. You can find that organization here: http://www.hum.wa.gov/ComplaintProcess/Index.html or call their Spokane office at this number: 509-568-3196. Do not hesitate, because there is a strict timeline during which you qualify for their assistance.

  2. John Robert Bonin

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I suggest that both you and your daughter start with a complaint to the Washington State Human Rights Commission and quite possibly to the ACLU (for your daughter). I further suggest that you end your communication on this on public website and meet with an attorney in the Spokane area ASAP. The closest attorneys I personally know who do civil rights and plaintiff employment are in Moses Lake - Ronaldo Delgado - Delgado law firm. This is outrageous to me and I wish you the best of luck.

  3. Alexander J. Higgins

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . I don't know if that's illegal, but it's certainly OUTRAGEOUS. I hope another lawyer will have a good idea to help you. The law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. It may not protect you because of your association with someone else based on their orientation.
    -Alex J. Higgins

  4. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It's not clear what the situation is. Does your daughter work where you work? If not, why is she at your workplace? Why does anyone at your workplace know anything about your daughter's private conduct and personal relationships?

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more

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