SAN FRANCISCO, CA. (March 2020) – A man who alleges he suffered workplace sexual harassment by coworkers due to his sexual orientation and managers ignored his complaints filed a civil lawsuit in San Francisco County Superior Court.
“The harassment and retaliation that our client faced at his place of employment is unconscionable,” says attorney John Winer. “All employees, no matter their sexual orientation, should have a safe and inclusive workplace.”
In May 2011, the plaintiff Oscar Martinez Ibarra, an openly gay man, began working as a janitor for Able, a building maintenance company in San Francisco. He worked as a janitor for the company for nearly nine years. As soon as he started working for the company, Ibarra began experiencing sexually harassing comments from his coworkers.
Mr. Ibarra alleges that the coworkers named in the suit engaged in inappropriate, severe and pervasive unwanted comments and conduct based on his sexual orientation. The harassment continued as the years went on, with the comments becoming more sexual. On two occasions, a male employee slapped Mr. Ibarra on his buttocks, and after he asked him to stop, he said it was just a joke.
In 2015, Mr. Ibarra complained to his union president about the harassment he was experiencing, and after their meeting, his overtime hours were reduced and he never heard back from Able about the harassment complaints he filed. In 2018, Oscar complained to a supervisor, who then reported the harassment to an HR manager. After the complaint was filed, Oscar started being assigned more work, making him work through his lunch breaks. In 2020, he complained to his supervisor that he was being assigned too much work and didn’t have time to take his breaks, and the following month, he was let go from his job.
The plaintiff’s legal team includes attorneys John Winer, Mythily Sivarajah and Elana Jacobs with the law firm Winer, Burritt & Scott, LLP. WB&S is one of the premier law firms in California specializing in workplace sexual harassment, employment discrimination and sexual abuse.
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