Rhode Island-based Hasbro toys is facing a lawsuit from a former employee who claims the company dismissed her unfairly because of her activism on behalf of gender and sexual orientation issues, according to the Providence Journal.
“JoAnna Lapati, a lesbian, alleges that her open commitment to the cause of women’s rights, her gender, and her sexual orientation led Hasbro to falsely accuse her of wrongdoing and subsequently firing her last January,” says the article. “Lapati was a supervisor in Hasbro’s model artist division for 14 years, which makes prototypes, at the time of her termination.”
According to the lawsuit, Lapati was informed she had violated the employer’s code of conduct. Human resources refused to provide specifics about the grounds, other than to accuse her of participating in “a sexually inappropriate comment.”
She asked to dispute the allegation, but was told the decision was final, she says. Lapati asserts she did not engage in any misconduct and argues she was retaliated against because of her attempts to “ensure compliance: with workplace policies and federal and state laws regarding a hostile work environment and workplace discrimination.”
Lapati is seeking unspecified damages “as appropriate to punish” Hasbro for its malicious conduct and callous indifference. She asks the court to order Hasbro to institute and carry out policies that provide equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals regardless of gender and or sexual orientation.
Hasbro has a horrible score at the Human Rights 2014 Campaign Corporate Equality Index, which only assigns the company 25 out of a possible 100 points.