City hit by suit from ex-HRC staffer

Willis claims that Sparks made false accusations that he had acted without her knowledge or consent, that he was biased against LGBTs, and that Willis was “incompetent” at his work. The complaint also says that on several occasions Sparks instructed Willis “to engage in preferential treatment” of LGBTs for employment at the agency, despite Willis’s protestations.

HRC Executive Director Theresa Sparks

A straight former employee at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has filed a reverse sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit against the city.

Thomas Willis, who worked at the commission, filed a federal lawsuit against the agency in January. The lawsuit is headed for a settlement hearing in August.

Documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California indicate that during the period Willis worked at the HRC, much of the agency was ripe with dysfunction, including allegations of timecard fraud and long waits for constituents.

Through the complaint, Willis, an African American man, alleges that he faced discrimination based on sexual orientation and race, retaliation, defamation, and intentional interference with his contract.

HRC Executive Director Theresa Sparks and San Francisco Human Resources Director Micki Callahan are named individually as defendants in Willis’s suit against the city.


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