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Gay ex-worker sues Qwest over alleged harassment
By Beth Potter, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A former employee has sued Qwest, alleging he was forced to quit after being harassed at work because he is gay.

Donald Moreau alleges in the suit that he was called derogatory names, received anti-gay literature and was physically assaulted by a co-worker while he was an order specialist in the phone company's listings office.

Moreau, 46, began working for Qwest in 1999 as a customer-service representative.  In 2001, he was transferred to listings.  The harassment began there, after co-workers learned that Moreau was in a committed relationship with a co-worker, the lawsuit states.  He left the Denver-based company in 2004.

Lambda Legal is filing the lawsuit in Denver County District Court in conjunction with the Denver-based Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Colorado Inc.  The lawsuit calls for a jury trial to determine damages of more than $10,000.

Qwest "is unable to respond" to specifics because of a confidentiality agreement it has with Moreau, said company spokesman Bob Toevs.  He said Qwest was able to resolve Moreau's complaints through mediation.

"While it's unfortunate that Mr. Moreau has chosen to disregard his obligations under terms of the agreement, we have complied with its terms," Toevs said.

Denver has an anti-discrimination ordinance to help protect the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in the workplace.  The Denver Anti-Discrimination Office enforces that ordinance.  There is no law with similar protections at the state or federal level.

Staff writer Beth Potter can be reached at 303-820-1503 or