Former Employee Wins Settlement from Sony over Gay Harassment Charges

A former employee of Sony Music Holdings, Inc. (doing business as Sony DADC) was awarded a $20,000 settlement over claims that he was harassed due to his sexual orientation during his employment at the company’s Gloucester County manufacturing plant. (1)

According to the complaint the employee, Charles E. Morgan, was harassed on a regular basis during his employment as a temporary machine operator for the company. Morgan charged that at least three times during the period from May through August of 2009, he complained to management about the harassment but, he alleged, no action was taken. Instead, Morgan claimed, he was not promoted to a permanent, full-time position and, in August 2009, was given a three-day suspension because of his complaints. It was around that time that Morgan filed a complaint with New Jersey’s Department of Law and Public Safety’s Division on Civil Rights. Shortly thereafter he was terminated by Sony. (2)

Under the settlement agreement, Sony did not admit to any misconduct. Instead, the company claimed that its management did look into and attempt to resolve Morgan’s complaints. In fact, Sony said in one instance it transferred an employee out of Morgan’s department following his complaint that the employee had lectured him about his homosexuality. (1)

Sony also denied taking any retaliatory action against Morgan, claiming that the change from temporary to permanent, full-time employment was not a promotion, but a change in job status and that Morgan did not have the qualifications to warrant such a change. Sony also claimed that Morgan’s suspension and subsequent termination were the result of his attendance record. (3)

Nevertheless, Sony has paid the settlement amount to Morgan and also has agreed to give a “neutral reference” for Morgan to any prospective employer who may inquire, as stipulated in the agreement. (1)

(1) http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/sony-settles-with-former-gay-employee

(2) http://beta.courierpostonline.com/article/20101021/NEWS01/10210328/1006/Glo.-Twp.-offers-federal-aid-to-business-owners/Gay-ex-worker–Sony-settle-sexual-harassment-case#pluckcomments

(3) http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2010/10/pitman-based_sony_dadc_agrees.html