A bisexual epileptic has sued his former employer, a New York healthcare non-profit, for discrimination based on his disability and sexual orientation. He says he was told to take extra medication so that his supervisors wouldn’t have to deal with his symptoms. He says that he was also called a “faggot” by his boss while at work.
After successfully completing a two-week temporary assignment with Brightpoint Health, Jermanique Brown, was offered a full-time position as an Executive Assistant to the chief administrative officer, Christopher Quinones, according to the complaint.
Several months later Brown suffered a seizure at work and informed Quinones of his condition, explained his symptoms and the side effects of the medication he took to treat his epilepsy. Shortly thereafter, Brown alleges, Quinones began to discriminate against him, the complaint states.
His boss went so far as to tell him to take more of his prescription medication than was needed, as he did no want to deal with Brown’s disability. He screamed at and berated Brown throughout his time there, the complaint states.
Upon his return to work following another seizure that required hospitalization, Quinones questioned whether Brown suffered from epilepsy and required him to provide a doctor’s note as proof. Brown says he complied with his boss’s request, according to the complaint.
A meeting was then held with Brown, Quinones and two human resources employees. Brown claims he requested several accommodations for his epilepsy including a flexible start time, as epilepsy can sometimes be worse in the morning and late evening, and reasonable time off work for doctor’s appointments and treatments. In the complaint, Brown claims he did not receive a response to his requests.
Brown alleges that Quinones’ hostile and discriminatory treatment got worse after that. He was then transferred to another Brightpoint facility where such treatment continued, and was made worse by his being targeted with homophobic slurs. The facility he was transferred to was run by one of Quinones’ good friends, according to the complaint. This man, Alberto Sandoval, is the one who regularly called Brown a faggot.
Another meeting with human resource employees and Brown was held to address the issues and Brown informed them that he had filed a complaint with the EEOC regarding the discrimination he faced at Brightpoint. Brown claims he was immediately suspended without explanation and, days later, terminated, implying it was all done in retaliation of his original complaints.
He says that even with that, the ordeal is not over, as his former supervisors have been targeting his LinkedIn page with false claims in order to prevent him for getting work elsewhere, according to the complaint.
Brown is represented by The Harman Firm who brought suit in the Southern District of New York. Brightpoint did not return a call requesting comment.
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