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Suit Alleges Man Fired For Being Gay

Oct 19, 2004 | Iowa City Press-Citizen

A former MCI Mass Markets employee is suing the company for allegedly firing him because he is gay.

In a suit filed last week in Johnson County District Court, Shannon L. Derifield alleges he was denied promotions, treated unfairly and ultimately fired in January from MCI Mass Markets, 1925 Boyrum St., after nearly three years of employment. The lawsuit also names Derifield's former supervisor Jane Williams as a defendant.

The lawsuit alleges MCI violated its own non-discrimination policy by firing Derifield and that Williams "orchestrated, manipulated and encouraged an unfair accusation of poor performance on the part of (Derifield)," which resulted in his ineligibility for a promotion within the company. Derifield also alleges he was subject to an "intimidating, hostile and offensive" work environment.

Derifield also has filed complaints with the Iowa City Human Rights Commission and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission against MCI, according to the lawsuit. He is seeking unspecified damages for lost pay, benefits, court costs and emotional distress.

MCI spokeswoman Brittany Hoff declined comment on the lawsuit because she was not familiar with it.

"We have a no discrimination policy," she said.

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