The government agency charged with investigating discrimination in the workplace is itself facing a discrimination lawsuit by a worker claiming he was forced to violate his religious beliefs.
Greg Somers, an investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has filed a lawsuit over an agency policy requiring employees to investigate and prosecute claims against employers based on allegations of “sexual orientation.”
In 2011, the EEOC, under the Obama administration, issued a policy directive requiring that claims of discrimination on the basis of lesbian, “gay,” bisexual or transgender status be processed as gender discrimination.
Shortly after the memo was issued, Somers requested a religious exemption from being forced to investigate LGBT claims, arguing it violated his sincerely held religious belief that homosexuality, along with adultery and other sexual practices, is a personal choice. Towards the end of last year, after working its way through the federal administrative process, Somers was told his request had been denied.
Somers has since filed a lawsuit against the EEOC alleging his rights are being violated under the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The suit also claims that the EEOC policy violates the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government