By Lauren Kallman, National Public Radio reporterA judge ordered a lawyer to testify about a personal injury claim made by a woman who was fired for refusing to testify in court.
The woman, a mother of two, claimed she was sexually harassed by her former employer, a woman’s shelter.
The woman told the hearing on Monday that she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2015 alleging discrimination.
She said that her manager, a shelter director, told her that she was being fired because she refused to testify, and that she did not want to face retaliation.
“She told me, ‘I’ll get rid of you, you’re not going to work at this shelter anymore, you don’t have a job, I’ll just let you go,'” she said in her testimony.
The hearing began with the hearing room filling up with people waiting to speak with the lawyer.
When the lawyer took the witness stand, a crowd of people cheered.
The man who was in the room asked the lawyer to explain how a person could be fired for simply being gay.
The lawyer replied that she knew that many people, like her, had had their careers threatened for being LGBT, but said that she had been harassed in her job for being gay, too.
“There was one case where a manager said that the employer had given me the choice of going to court or being fired,” the lawyer said.
“I said, ‘No, I’m going to go to court.'”
The lawyer told the judge that her supervisor was also upset by her sexuality.
“My supervisor told me that I had no choice but to come to court,” she said.
The attorney then told the court that her boss was afraid of her and her boss’s homophobia.
“The reason I said that is because she’s afraid that she will lose the case because her boss is gay,” she explained.
The judge then allowed the lawyer, who is gay, to testify.
The hearing is scheduled to resume Tuesday.