An assistant chef in Washington, D.C. may have his day in court after he was allegedly fired from the Willard InterContinental Hotel because of his sexuality. Alberto Vega, 43, claims that he was subject to anti-gay harassment from co-workers and supervisors. After complaining to the hotel, he was “constructively discharged” from his job in 2013 (an illegal form of job termination whereupon conditions are purposefully made so poor, that no reasonable person would stay at the job).
According to the Washington Blade, the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights has found that he was “harassed on a frequent, nearly daily basis by multiple members of the kitchen staff,” and that the hotel’s alleged actions against Vega violated the D.C. Human Rights Act, which, among other things, bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
The chef was allegedly called offensive names in Spanish by staff, and was harassed with taunts such as, “real men have children; why don’t you have any?” The letter of substantiation from the Office of Human Rights says that the hotel investigated these claims of harassment and could not substantiate them. The Willard InterContinental Hotel has motioned for an appeal.