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LGBT pride flag does not create hostile work environment, Hillsborough's attorney says

The decision last week to hang an LGBT pride flag outside the Hillsborough County government center does not create a hostile work environment, the county attorney's office said Thursday.

Caitlin Johnston, Times

The decision last week to hang an LGBT pride flag outside the Hillsborough County government center does not create a hostile work environment, the county attorney's office said Thursday.

24

June

TAMPA — A LGBT pride flag hanging outside the Hillsborough County government center does not create a hostile work environment for Christians.

That's the legal opinion the county attorney's office shared with commissioners and the administration on Thursday.

Commissioners voted 5-1 on June 15 to raise the flag for the rest of the month, which is Pride Month, to honor and pay tribute to the victims of the mass shooting of Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando. 

But the next day, Commissioner Stacy White, who missed the vote, said he received an anonymous complaint from a concerned county employee. In a voicemail, she said "as a Christian, that flag is so very offensive to me that I cannot bear to go into the office." White asked the human resources department to review the flag, which he called a "divisive political symbol" and whether it may be a liability for the county.

In a memo released Thursday, though, Assistant County Attorney Jennie Granahan Tarr said it is not. 

"As for a religious harrassment claim, there must be evidence that the harrassment was motivated by religion. Only actions 'based on' religion satisfy the legal standard for a hostile work environment," Fletcher wrote in a memo. "Based on the review as referenced above, the BOCC's action was not based upon, or motivated by, religion and did not meet the legal standard of creating a hostile work environment."

[Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2016 3:41pm]

    

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