Commissioner Christopher Godfrey is demanding $1 million in compensation Iowa Governor Terry Branstad asked him to resign and later cut Godfrey’s salary after he refused. Godfrey is alleging defamation, harassment, sexual discrimination and extortion against the state based on his sexual orientation.  Godfrey claims he was treated differently than others because he is gay.  In a statement issued by a spokesperson for the Iowa governor, the governor believes he was was acting well within the law in lowering Mr. Godfrey’s salary.  Further Branstad was not even aware of Godfrey’s sexual orientation prior to the lawsuit. Full article.

Under United States law, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) does not enforce the protections that prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.  However, with the recent repeal of the Military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, many Gay and Lesbian Organizations are hopeful that the discrimination based on sexual orientation will be prohibited in all work places.  To date, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.  Please visit the EEOC’s website for further information: www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html.

The attorneys at Leeds Morelli & Brown, P.C., dedicate a large amount of their practice to employment discrimination claims.  For any questions, contact an attorney at the Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-800-585-4658 or 516-873-9550. Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C.’s website is located at www.lmblaw.com.