In an action asserting claims of sexual orientation harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, and retaliation against a City, the Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of the City on all of the employee's causes of action.
The Plaintiff worked as Fire Captain for the City. He applied for a promotion to Battalion Chief but another candidate was chosen. The Plaintiff asserted that the Fire Chief, who made the ultimate decision on the promotion, first found out that the Plaintiff was homosexual just prior to the promotional process and began treating him more harshly and dismissively upon learning of his homosexuality. The Plaintiff asserted he was the Fire Chief's "golden boy" prior to learning that he was homosexual and that their relationship rapidly and negatively changed after the Fire Chief learned of his sexual orientation. The Plaintiff also alleged various other acts of harassment and/or retaliation, such as the failure to appoint him to certain committees and unduly harsh criticism of his work performance.
The Court determined the City offered sufficient evidence of legitimate, business reasons for the promotional decision and that Plaintiff could not raise convincing evidence that those reasons were pretext for discrimination. The Fire Chief had stated that he picked the other candidate due to his work ethic, experience, and scores from an independent examination board which scored the Plaintiff lower than the candidate chosen. The Court further found that the Plaintiff was unable to establish that any other actions were taken against him due to his sexual orientation or complaints about sexual orientation.