Bank Of America Fired Us For Being Gay, Lesbian Couple Claims

Bank of AmericaFor four years, Shelly Flood says she was an excellent employee at a Maine branch of Bank of America. Her partner, Keri Flood, a cleaner at the bank, also received glowing reviews in the two years she worked there.

But when the bank discovered that they were lesbian partners, things changed "suddenly and dramatically from cordial to hostile," according to the couple's lawsuit, and they were fired within a week of each other. Now the couple is suing Bank of America and the New York-based cleaning company in U.S. District Court, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In their lawsuit, the couple claims that Bank of America told Keri Flood's employer, ABM Janitorial Services-Northeast Inc., that she was in a relationship with Shelly in September 2010, reports the Bangor Daily News. Around that time, someone from the bank told her employer that she had assaulted a bank employee, which she flatly denies. They both assert their sexual orientation was to blame for their hostile treatment, and their employers' decisions to fire them.

In a statement, Bank of America said they were reviewing the complaint and that the company "is committed to maintaining a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, a workplace where differences -- in thought, style, culture, ethnicity and experience, including sexual orientation -- help to make us stronger as a company."

Bank of America used very similar language in response to a new survey by The Glass Hammer, which found that lesbian women considered the bank one of the most supportive places to work.

ABM echoed Bank of America's sentiment, and said that they found "no evidence that anything unlawful took place."

Maine is one of 20 states where it is illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against someone for being gay. A recent report from the Center For American Progress, a liberal think tank, found that workplace discrimination costs businesses an average $64 billion annually, primarily through the turnover of employees. This may be partly why 87 percent of Fortune 500 companies had non-discrimination policies that included sexual orientation in 2010, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Bank of America is No. 9 on that list.

"Corporate America and the business community has really led the way in adopting these protections," says Ian Thompson, a legislative representative of the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's not just something they're doing altruisitcally. I think they see it as being in the best interest of their companies."

But many still oppose protections for gays and lesbians in the workplace. The Kansas House just passed a bill that would legalize anti-gay discrimination based on religious objections. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recently spoke out on his "Don't Ask Don't Tell" approach to gays in the workplace in an interview with Think Progress.

"You have a private sector business here and they need freedom to operate," he said. "In the first place, I would think that unless someone makes their sexuality public, it's not anybody's business, so neither is it our business to tell an employer who to hire. He won't know who to discriminate against in the first place."

Bank Of America: Gay Friendly

In the recent past, Bank of America has stood firmly on the side of gay rights. In May 2011, Bank of America's charitable foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to LIGALY, a group that fights bullying in schools against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Last September, the bank became embroiled in controversy after firing a longtime teambuilding coordinator, Frank Turek, shortly before he was scheduled to give a presentation on diversity. The bank had discovered that he had written a book against gay marriage. Turek had also made public statements such as, "You should not be for homosexuality if you are a rational reasonable person." Under pressure from customers and activists who accused the company of political and religious discrimination, Bank of America rehired Turek.

Last month, a Bank of America executive caused a stir with a video in which she outlined her opposition to the anti-gay marriage initiative on North Carolina's ballot. "We're in a war with other states across the country who would love to have the jobs that we have today," she said. "Amendment One has the potential to have a disastrous effect on our ability to attract talent and keep talent in the state of North Carolina."

A spokesman for the bank defended her right to make such a video in her "personal capacity."

The Floods, although they share a surname, are not married. Maine's gay marriage law saw the sunlight for a brief period in 2009, before it was knocked down by referendum. The state's domestic partnership law is still in effect.

According to The Glass Hammer survey, only 44 percent of lesbian lesbians were out to their boss or manager compared to 60 percent of gay men. And the Floods may offer up a reason why. They didn't face any discrimination on the job whatsoever, until their relationship got out.



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lagioiella

If the World Council of Churches decided to enforce that heterosexuals who have sex before they were married are publically shamed as the bible says to do...they would lose 99.9% of their membership who are not reading their bibles comprehensively, nor living by Christian principles!

November 20 2013 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TinBon434

Some gays are notorious trouble makers and liars.They make up stories, abuse their authority in order to try and force their cause or on others.

January 22 2013 at 2:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy

Bank of America is one of the worst paying employer amongest the Banking industry and it still remains on the the busiest one. As far as sexual orientation goes, make sure that you do not ever discuss that with any employer because it is still legal to terminate one based on sexual orientation in many states. Conservatives are using sexual harrasement as a tool to fire employee and it was done routinely when I worked at the federal government. I have seen many gay employees targeted and constantly harrased by others and even beaten on the job and nothing was done by the management even with police report being filed for the incident.

April 08 2012 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
petpetdonna

There is a great way to prevent this, DON'T BE GAY.

April 08 2012 at 3:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
vampressenigma1x

It'll never end. We give them their rights or try to anyways. And they STILL find one thing that offends them and all hell breaks loose. Stupid. greedy. self-righteousness, no good people. They;re just gonna haveta learn the hard way that they can;t force people to like them. And this suing them is just making it even worse. They can sue them all they want but it still won;t make the people that they are suing change their minds any. In face it's probably going to make them hate/discriminated against gays even more than they already do.

April 08 2012 at 3:28 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to vampressenigma1x's comment
Ron Adamson

oh darn..."quit picking on me because I choose to live perverted and you dont agree with the SIN I choose to wrap my life in"
Why do people desire so much to go to hell after they pass from this earth?
"for the wages od SIN is death"

April 08 2012 at 3:21 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Ollie

I worked for Bank of America for many years. All the supervisores I worked with were gay.;/ Most of the loan officers in my branch were gay men. I had worked with many lesbian co workers too. So why all the hub bub now? Bank of America should be checking their NOW employees. I bet they have many skeletons in their closets. Bank of America has gotten so wrong and rude in their business tactics for a few years now and I would bet my life theat A. P. Gianini is turning in his grave right now. A. P. Gianini put Bank of America together for the poor people and NOW the bank deals more with people or businsess of money, period. I have been a customer since I was an employee, through the years all was fine but now it is getting to where I and all my family and friends are not feeling trust worthy of the banks operations, have to find a trustig bank to do my banking with. Bank of America use to be the bank, number one, the best. It has gotten so shaky with its operations and all you have to do is listen to all the bad news the bank is getting with the money things the bank is opetrating in and with these days. And it is all going to get worse. All you have to do is read your news paper or watch/listen to the news. When I find the right bank I will close out all my accounts with Bank of America in a heart beat.

April 08 2012 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim

Just another Gay couple that lost their jobs using their sexaul orientation against their old employers to try and make a quick buck so that they can retire and live high off the hog off of someone elses hard work.

April 08 2012 at 2:49 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tim's comment
petpetdonna

They will still try and collect unemployment, food stamps and welfare. Typical gay thinking.

April 08 2012 at 3:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
TinBon434

lol

January 22 2013 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dereck

Bank of America was "Appropriated" by the World Fortune Owner in 2008 by Court Ruling which by Law "Nullified and Voided all Contracts thereunder". Based upon the fact that the World Fortune actually "Privately Finances" the entire Federal Government Worldwide under United States Interests and FirstGov, the "anti-gay" and all other "Anti Discrimination Statutes" are "Nullified and Voided" into the World Fortune Owners "Anti-Gay Favor". So no matter how this matter is handled, based upon the fact that the United States Government is "Aiding and Abetting" Bank of America to "Evade and Elude" the World Fortune Owner, collapsing the World Economy, the World Fortune will still make the "Final Call".

April 08 2012 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oscar

I hope Bofa sets the trend

April 08 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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