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Woman says Hasbro fired her speaking up for female employees

In New Jersey, it is against the law to discriminate against employees based on their gender or sexual orientation. Victims of employment discrimination have the right to seek financial restitution for the treatment they suffered at the hands of superiors or co-workers.

A story from another state provides a good example of a claim of discrimination in the workplace. A former employee of toymaker Hasbro says she was fired early in 2013 because she was an advocate of improving job opportunities for women. She has sued Hasbro for gender and sexual orientation discrimination.

The plaintiff worked for Hasbro for 14 years. During that time, she was “an ardent and vocal advocate” for female employees at the company, according to her lawsuit. She frequently spoke up about unequal treatment of women at Hasbro. Her suit accuses Hasbro of “forcing her to work in a hostile, demeaning, and sexually-threatening environment.”

In January 2013, Hasbro fired the plaintiff from her position as a supervisor. The plaintiff says she was told that the termination was due to a “sexually inappropriate comment.” When she tried to dispute the accusation, Hasbro’s human resources department told her the decision was final.

She believes her firing was actually retaliation for her efforts to improve conditions for women, and because she is a lesbian. Her state’s Department of Employment and Training agreed that she was not fired for just cause.

The plaintiff is seeking punitive damages, and is asking the court to require Hasbro adopt equal employment policies that give women opportunities.

Source: Providence Journal, “Former employee sues Hasbro, alleging discrimination based on gander and sexual orientation,” Katie Mulvaney, Jan. 24, 2014

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