Straight dude “in tears” after winning $17.4 million in homophobic discrimination lawsuit

James Pearl is a former city sanitation worker for the City of Los Angeles. He was just awarded an eight-figure sum from his former employer after he accused them of homophobic abuse.

Oh, and did we mention he’s also straight?

Pearl’s attorneys argued that he was subjected to “insults, criticisms, demeaning comments, suggestive remarks, offensive posters, cartoons… concerning his alleged sexual orientation.”

The bullying also included rumors that he and another male coworker were in a romantic relationship together.

Related: Trump Voter Cries Discrimination During Tirade At Michaels Over $1 Bag

The court filings explain:

Plaintiff is heterosexual, however he was harassed and discriminated against because supervisors and managers in the department perceived him as being homosexual and these same supervisors and managers have a long history of discriminating and harassing homosexual employees.

As a result, 55-year-old Pearl, who is married to a woman, says he suffered “physical and psychological damage” that left him on disability.

Pearl was employed at the department from 2002 to 2011, until he was fired for falsifying time documents. Around that same time, he filed a discrimination complaint against his employers, accusing them of discriminating against him because of his race.

After appealing his termination, he was rehired with the city in 2013.

Last week, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ruled in favor of Pearl, ordering the city to fork over $17.4 million in damages and compensation.

Naturally, Peal was very pleased with this verdict. His lawyers told the media, “He’s obviously vindicated… he’s just been stepped on, and to have the jury vindicate him, he was in tears.”

“For the first time in a long time, he’s hopeful.”

With that kind of money coming his way, we’re sure he is.

Related: Gay Cop Awarded $30,000 Settlement In Discrimination Lawsuit, But Does He Deserve It?

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  • FRE0

    People who suddenly get large amounts of money usually are much worse off because of it. It changes there lives in adverse ways that they have not expected. That is true whether the money comes from gambling, a lottery, or a court judgment.

    • okbye

      He’ll never get that much money. It will be tied up in appeals for years and they will bargain it down. He really shouldn’t anyway, it’s not worth anywhere near that amount.

    • Billysees

      Your comment is a good one, just take a look at some of the lives of big time lottery winners. They’re a mess.

  • scotshot

    He was so discriminated against that after being fired for falsifying time cards – theft. He then goes back to work for them while the case is being tried.

    Stupid city.

    • ChrisK

      That and his first lawsuit was over racial discrimination. It really does look like he’s throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.

    • ChrisK

      Oh and a tax paying citizen of LA I’m the biggest victim here as I’m the one paying for his new life.

    • mhoffman953


      “That and his first lawsuit was over racial discrimination. It really does look like he’s throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.”

      But he’s a black man…

      I think you are being misled by Queerty using a young white guy’s stock photo

  • michael

    Oh man – I hope I look like that dude at 55.

  • ryantbo

    Love how the man in the story is 55 years old – the twink used to sell the story and attract readers could possibly be his grandsons age. JUST saying…

    • He BGB

      It’s Queerty. I’m surprised they didn’t have him take his shirt off. Lol.

    • ChrisK

      In Queerty’s defense It’s because they didn’t have any stock photo’s of guys over the age of 30.

    • JCalvinius

      Okay, ChrisK you win the interwebs today according to my scoring sheet.

    • dinard38

      @ChrisK. LOL!!! Good one.

  • ChrisK

    This is the worst thing that’s ever happened. A straight man teased because they assumed he was gay. The humiliation and torment he must have suffered.

  • ass eater

    a lot of straight men are assumed gay, because they don’t fit into the macho, testosterome driven box that men are forced to conform to. I know some straight men who are very effeminate, and has soft mannerisms. and some have gay face and voice, if you go by stereotype.

    • Alan down in Florida

      James Cordden is the perfect example.

    • Tête Carrée

      @Alan down in Florida
      I don’t find James Corden “suspect” at all. I don’t know why people mention him in that way on Queerty.
      Unless you really meant “James Cordden”. I don’t know who that is.

  • paul dorian lord fredine

    they’ll appeal an he won’t get that much.

  • ass eater

    I get mistaken for being straight. effeminate or masculine nature does not determine your orientation.
    I thought that nigel, the judge from America’s top model was gay. boy was I wrong.

  • Kieran

    I’m hardly surprised this abuse happened in LA where they voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

    • 1EqualityUSA

      You REALLY love Trump. gagh! He’s such a ‘tard. Why are you still trumping around for this fool!

    • mhoffman953


      “He’s such a ‘tard”

      Months ago, you mocked disabled children who ride short buses to insult people you don’t like and now you’re back to your old tricks of insulting people you don’t like by comparing them to the mentally disabled.

      When they go low, we go high – I guess that doesn’t apply with the left

    • 1EqualityUSA

      Repubtard is used continuously on this site and you never say a word. Blow off, Hoff.

    • mhoffman953


      So your defense is because everyone else allegedly does it, that means it’s ok?

    • 1EqualityUSA

      What defense? You have such a high opinion of yourself, Hoff. Bug off. Your opinions are an annoyance and hardly respectable. (Where’s that fly swatter, Queerty? It used to be on the upper left-hand side of the screen, hanging on a nail.) Did your parents make you feel as though your opinions matter more than anyone else’s? Don’t answer that. Who gives a flying rat’s ass what you think?

    • mhoffman953


      You sound triggered because I pointed out that your use of mentally handicapped people as a punchline is low

      And if we’re going to go on about parents, I suppose your parents never taught you that it’s wrong to joke about the mentally disabled

    • 1EqualityUSA

      So you look for triggers, troll. What an ass.

  • KaiserVonScheiss

    Fired for falsifying time cards. Sounds like he just wanted a big payday.

  • radiooutmike

    If he appealed his termination and won, that means only one or two things- the city did not produce enough evidence to rightfully terminate him in the first place. Or his termination was motivated by some other factor other the alleged infarction.

    • davincibarnette

      Sad you had to explain that.

  • Richard 55

    I feel for Pearl. I hate campaigns of harassment. It’s outright bullying. Homophobic bullying is sometimes performed by men with homosexual inclinations. Women can also be very homophobic.

    • ass eater

      yes, I learned that women can be more vile than men. they seem to take it personally. I’d rather deal with a anti-gay man than a anti-gay woman. because sometimes the anti-gay man is gay himself.

  • JamJewel

    If they had told the FULL story, there wouldn’t be so many confused people hereinunder.

    Pearl first filed a discrimination complaint in 2011, alleging that he had been transferred on the basis of being black [but Queerty used a picture of a white guy!] and as retaliation for complaining about a fellow worker’s misconduct. He was then fired [for supposed falsifying time cards,] which Pearl also reported as retaliation and motivated by his perceived sexual orientation.

    The L.A. Board of Civil Service Commission ultimately determined that Pearl’s termination was unfounded, and he was reinstated to his position more than a year later. Upon his return, however, Pearl was given a lower-paying shift and was assigned the same supervisor who had circulated the offending photo.

    • JCalvinius

      Thanks. Figured it was something like that (it always is if they reinstated) and was gonna Google it. Ya know…. that thing everyone should do before jumping to their conclusions. Or believing a headline. Sometimes people deserve to be stupid when it is, as evidenced here, completely voluntary.

    • mhoffman953


      Thanks for clearing that up for everyone. Queerty should’ve done better reporting in this story

  • Caligari

    Wow, he looks really good for 55.

    • SaltyJazz_413

      Query shame on you. You ask your readers to regard you as a news source yet you mislead with deceptive imagery and incomplete facts. The full facts make for a far more compelling story than the sensational half story you posted. A person of color steps forward to act as a whistle-blower and faces retaliation. That is a brave action on its own. The community deserves better actors than this from any entity that seeks to call itself a news resource. Shame.

  • BennyP

    Wow Some people have all the luck

  • DCguy

    IF he actually WAS gay he probably wouldn’t have won.

  • DennisBTR

    DCguy: You are absolutely right. The “harm” here was that a straight man was accused of being gay. Being gay is such an abomination that such accusations on their face must be punished. This is idiocy.

    If a gay man were harassed and accused of being straight I am sure they would not receive one single dime.

  • GayEGO

    Hopefully this will each the employers to toss the discrimination and get to work instead of looking to harass their employees!

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    Am I the only one who is insulted by this whole ruling?? So being gay is tantamount to slander and mental anguish? So can I sue if I was mistaken and teased for being perceived straight?

  • batesmotel

    That’s an outlandish amount of money for being teased. I’d suffer being teased just to win that amount and be free of regular jobs.

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