A Collin County Detention officer says he’s being discriminated against and ridiculed at work because he's gay.
For nearly three months, Officer Derek Boyd says he's been subject to ridicule and retaliation by several coworkers. Now he's hired an attorney and filed a lawsuit in an effort to save his job.
The 23-year-old has been with the Collin County Sheriff's Office since January. He's also enrolled in college as he works towards a degree in criminal justice. His ultimate goal is to be a police officer, but now he's not so sure.
Attorney Kasey Krummel is speaking on behalf of her client because she says the Collin County Sheriff’s Office is unlawfully preventing Boyd from doing so himself.
“This was a dream job for him, if you will,” said Krummel. “Even though it's our position that all of their actions since his complaint have been unconstitutional, he is adhering to their orders in an effort to maintain his employment with the sheriff's office."
In a 25-page lawsuit filed Tuesday against Collin County and members of the sheriff's office, Boyd accuses his employer of discrimination and retaliation based on his sexual orientation.
On March 19, Boyd says two nurses, who work with him at the jail, “referred to inmates as [expletive]… and commented that they could not work with [expletive]."
According to the complaint, Boyd told the nurses he was gay and that their words offended him.
Boyd says one nurse stopped, but the other nurse did not.
“Despite his complaints, he has still been in the same pod with the nurse who continues to make those comments,” said Krummel.
According to the suit, Boyd contacted the nurse's supervisor, but nothing changed. So Boyd filed a complaint with his immediate supervisor. Boyd claims that's when the retaliation began.
“An investigation is being conducted against Officer Boyd based on the nurse's complaints that his allegations are untrue,” said Krummel. “Yet no investigation has been conducted on behalf of Mr. Boyd's complaints that the nurses are acting discriminatorily.”
In the lawsuit, Boyd says he fears for his safety, claiming colleagues "intentionally disregard and ignore Officer Boyd's calls." Boyd says he was asked to take a polygraph test to prove he wasn't lying.
Boyd’s attorney has filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order. If it’s granted, Boyd would be able to speak publically without fear of being terminated. It would also prevent him from having to take a polygraph test.
Boyd says he wants to stay at the Collin County Sheriff's Office and would ultimately like the department to make him an LGBT liaison for the department.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s office told FOX 4 the department is aware of the lawsuit but could not comment any further since the investigation is ongoing.