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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
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Workers Sue for Anti-Catholic Bias

NEWARK (CN) - Three workers sued Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, claiming their bosses were "clearly intolerant of homosexuals" and Catholics, and that one supervisor told a plaintiff he should change his religion, to "save himself and his family from being damned to hell."

Jorge Lock, Jorge Carpio and Hector Rodriguez sued the Bloomfield, N.J.-based company and their former bosses, William O'Gara, Noel Torres, and Sean Benjamin, in Essex County Court.

According to the company website: "LabCorp is committed to assisting in the development and delivery of new laboratory tests that provide enhanced accuracy and additional clinical information. Our customers include physicians and their patients, hospitals and managed care plans, private employers, military and law enforcement agencies, and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies."

The plaintiffs say their work environment was extremely hostile because of their Hispanic heritage, Catholic religion and perceived sexual orientation.

Lock claims that when his direct supervisor, Noel Torres, found out that he was Catholic, Torres told him he "should rethink his religious denomination." He claims Torres asked him "to pray and read Scriptures from the Bible" at work, and that when he saw Catholic prayer cards in Lock's wallet, told him he should "throw them in the garbage."

Lock says Torres also repeatedly referred to him and Rodriguez as "homos," and called him "bitch," "fag," and "faggot."

Carpio claims the company denied him access to its doctor after a work-related car accident, and told him he "could not file a workers' compensation claim."

When he filed for workers comp anyway, Carpio says, he was denied a light-duty assignment and was ridiculed by co-workers, one of whom "shoved and punched [him] numerous times in the face" on company property.

The three men say they were all fired on pretexts.

They seek punitive damages for discrimination, retaliation, civil rights violations, negligence and hostile work environment.

They are represented by Ramon Camejo with Kassem & Camejo of Clifton, N.J.

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