Hot! Immigration Lawsuit Claims Discrimination Against Men

Photo by Missouri News Horizon

A discrimination and retaliation lawsuit has made its way into the federal government’s immigration enforcement agency. The lawsuit, filed by a top federal immigration official alleges that he was denied a high-level position in the agency in favor of a less-qualified woman because he was a man.

The official, James t. Hayes Jr., also accused the agency’s chief of staff, Suzanne Barr, of “sexually offensive behavior” that contributed to a discriminatory work environment for male employees.

Barr stepped down from her post and voluntarily left the agency on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal review of the misconduct allegations.

The union that organizes more than 7,000 enforcement agents, the National ICE Council, has been openly critical of the leadership of the agency’s director, John Morton, and resistant to policy changes he has introduced.

In the lawsuit, Hayes claims he was shoved out of a senior-level management position to make way for a less qualified woman and then suffered retaliation when he threatened to file a discrimination complaint. In addition, he accuses Barr of contributing to a sexualized office culture hostile to men.

Federal lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that it failed to present sufficient facts to justify the claims.

When Hayes threatened to file an internal discrimination complaint, the lawsuit says, the agency opened four misconduct investigations against him and reopened two others “to intimidate him,” the lawsuit says.

Labor attorneys in Thailand confirm that discrimination in the workplace can be deemed to be a constructive dismissal thereby creating a legal case. However, law concerning gender discrimination is not as developed in Thailand as in the U.S.