Designer sues boss after allegedly being sacked because he was gay

In what is believed to be China’s first ever sexual-orientation discrimination lawsuit, a former employee is suing a Shenzhen interior design company after he was allegedly sacked for being gay.

The Nanshan District Court heard the case on 24 December 2014 but eventually ruled against the plaintiff. Mr He appealed to the Shenzhen Intermediate Court which upheld the original ruling.

The plaintiff, Mr He, joined the company as a design assistant on 28 August 2014 and was soon promoted to head of sales. In early November however Mr He was outed after a video of him in an argument with another man on the streets of Shenzhen was posted online.

The video came to the attention of his employer who allegedly told Mr He that because the company did not employ homosexuals his employment would be terminated. The boss allegedly cited the psychological impact on customers as his justification.

Mr He is suing on the grounds of invasion of privacy and employment discrimination.

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