Kaiser Boss Harassed Gay, Catholic Employee, He Claims
1-31-2015 00:27:00

     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - A Kaiser manager harassed and wrongfully fired a gay, Catholic employee, he claims in Alameda County Superior Court.

     Robert Lane sued Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company and his former boss, Richard Gold, alleging sexual orientation discrimination and harassment, gender discrimination and harassment, religious discrimination and harassment, disability discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination and unfair business practices.

     According to Lane’s lawsuit, he worked as a Senior Contracting Manager at Kaiser’s Oakland office for five years and was supervised by Gold, the Vice President of National Provider Contractor. Lane is openly gay and a practicing Catholic, he says.

     “During the time he served as plaintiff’s boss, Gold treated him with hostility and abruptness, and openly ridiculed him for his religion and sexual orientation. For example, he challenged plaintiff’s Catholic affiliation by publicly inquiring how he could be associated with the church given the recent news about allegations of its rampant child abuse, and the church’s view of gay marriage,” Lane’s complaint states.

     “Gold also made comments to plaintiff that questioned and diminished his male gender identity. For example, after plaintiff had undergone a biopsy of a mass on his right breast and was awaiting the results, Gold announced to the office, ‘I see you had a breast augmentation.’ This type of humiliation became commonplace for plaintiff,” it states.

     “Gold also berated plaintiff about needing to take time off for bereavement leave when his mother was terminally ill – time to which plaintiff was clearly entitled under Company policy,” it continues.

     According to the complaint, Lane was put on a performance improvement plan (PIP) shortly after complaining to Kaiser about Gold. Although Kaiser policy required Gold to give Lane feedback about his progress during the term of the PIP, Gold did not do so, according to the complaint.

     “Defendant Gold suddenly informed plaintiff that he did not successfully complete the PIP in January and that his work was unsatisfactory, and terminated plaintiff on Jan. 7, 2013,” the complaint states.

     Robert Lane seeks economic, non-economic, special, general and punitive damages, injunctive relief, an order requiring Kaiser to train its employees, supervisors and managers, attorneys’ fees and costs, statutory interest and a jury trial. He is represented by Heather E. Borlase and Alan B. Bayer of Bayer & Borlase in San Francisco.