Dallas daredevil inspires Supreme Court arguments for LGBT employment equality
On Tuesday, our Supreme Court will hear about a skydiving instructor who was fired for disclosing his sexual identity.
After filing an EEOC complaint, that skydiver, Don Zarda, died Oct 3, 2014 while testing his wing-suited mettle in a BASE-jumping accident.
However, the specific work-related incident dates back to 2010.
That’s when Don — a former Dallasite — was in New York.
Don was conducting a tandem jump with a female client. To put the woman’s mind at ease — about the coziness of jumping two-to-one — Don revealed that he enjoyed intimacy with men. Like his partner, Dallas businessman Bill Moore.
After that jump, a complaint was filed against Don. And the employer, Altitude Express, placed Don on suspension.
While returning to face the ultimate decision, Don recorded the exchange, which y’all can listen to on YouTube.
During that seven-minute recording, Don repeatedly requests video of the controversial tandem jump.
At first, Don’s former coworkers dodge and evade the request.
However, Don’s lawyer, Gregory Antollino, discovered a copy.
One thing’s for sure, Don’s not the drama queen in this story.
The female client looks pretty dang happy when she smiles beside Don for a group shot after her feet land safely on the ground. (By the way, it was the female client's boyfriend who complained about Don's sexual identity...)
Texas' legal experts predict that gender discrimination will soon encompass protections for LGBTQ employees.
Like Texas Lawyer magazine's brilliant Mike Maslanka, who anticipates a wonderful outcome — even during a Trump Administration.
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