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Ask Tina Your Own Question
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I am a faculty member being accused of orientation discrimination.

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I am a faculty member being accused of sexual orientation discrimination. I am being accused of agreeing with a male student that aromatherapy is "kind of faggoty". As I teach health science there is no way that I would discourage the use of a stress reduction technique. I may have said "what's the matter is it too faggy for you?". I live in the Los Angeles area. Is this sexual orientation discrimination?

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

The employer is willing to permit you to take diversity training rather than face other disciplinary action? What did you indicate in your response to the allegations?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am currently denied teaching any classes other than the one I am finishing up. I can appeal if I want to. But yes I can take the training and write a letter reflecting on my behavior and how I will prevent it. I guess after that is approved I will be allowed to continue teaching.


In my response I argued that I did not say it is "kind of faggoty". I argued that the students were upset over a one point deduction. In addition other students had a different version which is more correct "What's the matter is it too faggy for you". This was not directed at a homosexual student and there were none in this class. I felt that I was not be degrading to any student. I also have a homosexual friend. I am not even sure I used the word faggy but enough students seem to have this in their statements.

Hello again and thank you for providing this additional information. This does sound like some sort of witch hunt.

As you may know, use of the "N" word is taboo in the workplace and should never be used in any context. Similarly, using the word faggot, homo, or slang words often used to describe homosexuals is also not tolerated by many employers since they can face liability issues if they do permit it in the workplace.

I would certainly argue that an isolated incident does not rise to the level of discrimination especially in the context you describe and courts would typically agree with that. Therefore, I would challenge the employer's actions against you while agreeing to take diversity training since it can shed more light on liability issues in the workplace.

It would be best to retain a local employment law attorney to assist you with this since it does appear you have grounds to challenge the employer's actions.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate my service when I have answered your questions so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. Thank you!


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