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Walmart Employee Claims That he Faced Homophobic Discrimination

A former temporary Walmart employee at a Las Vegas Walmart store has filed a complaint with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, alleging that he faced discrimination based on his sexual orientation at the world's biggest retailer.

The Advocate reports that 18-year-old Fernando Gallardo quit his position at Walmart because of the harassment and humiliation that he faced each day. The teenager claims that a supervisor straight up asked him if he was gay in front of four of his coworkers. After he told his supervisor "yes," he said that he was alienated from then on.

Fernando Gallardo said that after the incident he was stripped of many of his daily duties after he was pressured to come out as gay and that his supervisor and two other managers completely stopped talking to him. He said that he was also alienated by being asked to wear a yellow vest around the store, which nobody else had to do.

"I was completely ignored and shunned," he wrote in a complaint to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. "I had nothing to do all day but wander around the store wearing a yellow vest no one else had to wear, much like Jews had to wear a yellow star of David in Hitler's Germany."

If courts find that his claims are true, then he could be entitled to monetary compensation amounting to $114,000 and a position at another Walmart store, according to The Advocate. Sadly, if this same scenario were to happen in the state of Texas, Fernando Gallardo would not have the same rights. This is because there is no federal law or Texas law that forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Many Houston employment lawyers and gay rights activists have been trying to get more rights for gay employees in the workplace for years. Perhaps this case will draw attention to the need to protect workers from being discriminated against based on sexual orientation. FindLaw states that there are now 17 U.S. states, including Nevada, which prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in private employment.

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