Friday, April 06, 2012

Searsport lesbian couple alleges discrimination by Bank of America, cleaning company

BELFAST, Maine — Two women from Waldo County who say they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation are suing Bank of America and a New York-based cleaning company in U.S. District Court.

Shelly Flood of Searsport started working at Bank of America in Belfast in 2006, and she received bonuses and positive evaluations until four years later, when her supervisor learned that she was a lesbian, according to the lawsuit.

“The supervisor’s treatment of Shelly Flood changed suddenly and dramatically from cordial to hostile,” states the complaint, which was filed on March 29 in U.S. District Court in Bangor. “The bank then singled out Shelly Flood for adverse treatment and adverse employment actions and began laying the groundwork for her termination because of her sexual orientation.”

Meanwhile, her partner, Keri Flood of Searsport, had worked beginning in 2008 cleaning the bank as an employee of ABM Janitorial Services-Northeast Inc. The complaint stated that until September 2010, Keri Flood received recommendations for her work and “consistently positive” feedback. But that changed when the cleaning company learned from Bank of America that Keri Flood was in a relationship with Shelly Flood, according to the lawsuit.

“ABM singled out Keri Flood for adverse employment actions and, on or about October 7, 2010, ABM terminated her employment because of her sexual orientation,” the complaint states.

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