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Joplin man takes state human rights commission to court

A Joplin man is suing the Missouri Commission on Human Rights after they refused to act on his claims of sexual harassment at work.

Andrew Farthing used to work at a Home Depot hardware store in Joplin, and claims his co-workers harassed him using slurs typically targeted against homosexuals. Farthing says his bosses did nothing to fix the situation, so he went to the MCHR seeking a right-to-sue letter.

According to Farthing’s suit, the commission refused to give him such a letter, claiming sexual orientation is not a protected class. The lawsuit, however, argues the Missouri State Supreme Court has ruled numerous times same-sex sexual harassment is included as discrimination in the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Farthing’s suit asks the Circuit Court of Cole County to essentially order the MCHR to give Farthing a right-to-sue letter, which would allow him to take legal action against Home Depot.

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