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December 17, 2019

Lehigh Valley man sues U.S. Postal Service, alleges he was fired for being gay

Lawsuits Discrimination
07232015_USPS Grumman LLV/Wikimedia Commons

A former letter carrier is suing the U.S. Postal Service, claiming he was fired from his job at the Allentown post office because he is gay.

A Lehigh Valley man is suing the U.S. Postal Service, alleging he was fired from his job as a letter carrier for the Allentown post office because he is gay.

The man, who filed the lawsuit anonymously as John Doe, said in the suit that he'd been employed with the USPS for more than a dozen years, and was one year away from being eligible for early retirement. He identifies himself in the suit as an HIV-positive gay man.

Doe claims he received texts over the summer from a former coworker, John Bond, that contained derogatory statements and slurs, directed Doe's way by management and other coworkers. One coworker called him a "sick f****t"; another coworker called him a "homo", and said Doe "likes to suck big d***"; and a supervisor texted another manager that he was "gonna get (Doe's) ass fired."

Bond also told Doe that he was often called "Glinda," the name of the female witch from "The Wizard of Oz," by a coworker, and said that another coworker frequently commented on the appearance of Doe's shorts.

The letter carrier was fired Aug. 19, according to the lawsuit, after a coworker, Lisa Williams, accused him of kicking her. Williams said at one point, according to the lawsuit, that Doe "kicked her like a football," which Doe alleges in the lawsuit is "fabricated and untrue."

Doe was charged with harassment by local police, according to the lawsuit, but was found not guilty on Nov. 12.

The lawsuit claims that after Doe was fired, Williams commented that she was "so glad they finally got rid of that fruitcake."

Doe is seeking to regain his job, earn back seniority and retirement eligibility for his 12 years of service, and earn back pay for the time since he was fired. He's also seeking compensatory damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and anxiety; punitive damages; and court fees, and for the USPS to adopt a fully LGBT-inclusive, non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy.

A spokesperson for the USPS told Lehigh Valley Live that she would not comment on pending litigation.

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