Gay Woman Sues Teamsters Local 495 for Discrimination, Wrongful Termination

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A former business agent for a Teamsters local based in West Covina is suing her ex-employer, alleging she was subjected to ongoing discrimination because she is female and gay and ultimately fired in 2022 because she complained of disparate treatment.

Carla Castro's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Teamsters Local 495 alleges wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation. She seeks at least $500,000 in compensatory damages as well as punitive damages.

A Teamsters Local 495 representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit brought Tuesday.

Castro was hired as a business agent in January 2016 and was one of the only women working in management, according to the suit, which also states Castro is openly gay and was on the board of Teamsters LGBTQ plus caucus, which has a goal of unifying, educating and empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Teamsters members.

However, in October 2021 Castro's new boss, Damascus Castellanos, began harassing her because of her gender and gender identity, making such comments as "females should not be business reps because the guys should never have to filter how they speak," the suit states.

The supervisor continually said that he felt women in Castro's position at the local were detrimental to the functionality of the union, then in January 2022 he began to target the plaintiff and write her up for things she didn't do, calling her "defensive" if she refuted the accusations in writing, the suit states.

Castro complained about her treatment and was fired last July, allegedly because of her sex and gender identity as well as her involvement in LGBTQ plus activities, the suit states.

Castro was replaced with a male, making all the business representatives of that gender, the suit states.

Castro continues to suffer emotional distress as well as medical expenses and financial losses because of her firing, the suit states.

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