Disney’s leading streaming service Disney Plus is celebrating Pride month by prominently positioning several LGBTQ+ titles on its homepage. Ironically an executive employee at Disney has brought in a sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit against the company. Television executive Joel Hopkins filed a complaint in the California Superior court yesterday.

Hopkins was associated with Disney since 1994 and was promoted in 2000 as vice president of production finance for Touchstone Television. He stated that it is during this time he came out as gay and has been facing workplace discrimination and issues at his workplace.

The complaint stated that during the tenure the defendant was a victim of ongoing pattern of discrimination, including, but not limited to, being passed over for promotions and not being paid on par with other department heads.

Moreover other than being subjected to unwarranted scrutiny and persecution, he was also purportedly blamed for issues that were not his responsibility. He was constantly ignored for better opportunities within the company. In some instances, other employees with less or no relevant experience were promoted to the roles for which he was overlooked.

He has alleged that he was not included in many executive meetings and his role involving management of other employees was reduced also. Disney is been accused for LGBTQ discrimination at workplace and which lead to break LGBTQ rights in democracy.

As per the lawsuit, Hopkins has made several direct complaints to HR about the discrimination he was facing but the HR department and his employers did not help. The lawsuit states that after his sexual orientation was disclosed his superiors started discriminating against him and overlooked him for any opportunities, promotions, putting an end to his career track.

The complaint stated that though Disney had said that in 2021 they were down financially and would not promote, many were promoted and the plaintiff was overlooked again.

The complaint is filed under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, which bars any form of workplace discrimination based on race, religion, gender, color, disability, age and sexual orientation. The plaintiff has sued for compensation for lost benefits and wages, medical expenses and emotional distress and the trial and lawyers’ fees. He has also asked for punitive damages to punish the Defendants and to deter other companies from engaging in similar conduct.

California Fair Employment and Housing Act

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) applies to both public and private organizations and agencies.  Employers having 5 or more employees come are governed by the act. The act bans any kind of discrimination against job applicants and employees belonging to a protected category or retaliating against them for asserting their rights under the law.

The FEHA prohibits harassment of an employee, a job applicant, an unpaid intern, and a contractor from a protected category. Harassment of any form is prohibited in all workplaces irrespective of the number of employees.

Employers who take employment related decisions based on an employee’s personal characteristics can be held responsible for workplace discrimination. A large number of employees are discriminated against at their workplace in the form of cutbacks, layoffs and other excuses due to their personal characteristics. We at Khashan Law firm have been representing victims of workplace discrimination and helping them get justice.

We understand that any form of workplace discrimination can be traumatic for the employees. Our experienced team of workplace discrimination lawyers can help the victims to find an effective and efficient resolution.

Pursuing and filing a discrimination claim against the employer is an extremely complex system. You will need to follow strict deadlines to file the lawsuit and follow stringent documentation procedures. Get in touch with one of our experienced workplace discrimination lawyers before filing your claim. Contact us at (951) 461-2387 for a free, confidential consultation.