A gay Comcast executive who’s the telecommunications company’s LGBTQ liaison filed a 45-page federal lawsuit filed last week, claiming that he has “been subjected to discriminatory conduct” because he doesn’t conform to “traditional sex and/or gender based stereotypes.”
Klayton Fennell is Comcast Corp.’s senior vice president of government affairs and the company’s highest-ranking openly gay employees. Fennell also serves as the company’s key contact with LGBT advocacy organizations.
In the lawsuit Fennell atets that he was denied promotions by his bosses who told him “on more than one occasion, in essence, that his sexual orientation and manner was the reason he was not promoted.” Also that on more than one occasion he had been called a “faggot” and “high-pitched,” and sent to an “executive coach” when he was told he was “too gay and too flamboyant” for the company’s “conservative” culture.
Fennell complained about the discriminatory conduct, but Comcast failed to investigate the allegations and the company “allowed the hostile environment to persist.” He then filed a complaint of discrimination with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which resulted in further retaliation against him, he says.
Since he started working for Comcast in 2001, the company wanted to present him as “an example of their non-discriminatory or ‘inclusive’ environment in an effort to bolster their public image and further their business as a media company,” Fennell alleges in the suit. But senior executives have consistently subjected him to discriminatory treatment because of his sexuality, he claims.
Comcast denies the discrimination claims.
Fennel is seeking unspecified damages, including back-pay, front-pay, compensatory damages and lawyer fees, according to the suit.