Lawsuit Says Catholic Relief Services Discriminates Against ‘Gay’ Employee

WYPR — Monday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination is likely to have implications for a lawsuit filed late last week in federal court in Baltimore.

The lawsuit accuses Catholic Relief Services, an international humanitarian aid organization headquartered in Baltimore, of discriminating against a gay employee by denying health insurance coverage for the employee’s husband.

The employee, known in the lawsuit as John Doe, said he was recruited to work at Catholic Relief Services in mid-2016.

“Before I accepted the job, I had asked the recruiter if my husband would be covered under the spousal insurance, and she told me that all dependents were covered,” Doe said in an interview. “I reviewed all the benefits material, and there were no exclusions for same sex spouses.”

Doe took the job and moved with his husband to Baltimore. But in November 2016, after working at CRS for less than six months, human resources informed him that they had made a mistake — same-sex spouses are not eligible for the company’s health insurance.


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