Fired VA facility administrator sues for alleged sexual orientation discrimination, says he was 'scapegoat' for failures

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The former administrator of a Pennsylvania veterans long-term care facility has sued the state's Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, claiming he was fired from the position in part because he is gay.

Michael Semian was fired from the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center in Scranton, PA, in 2015. In a complaint filed in court last week, Semian argues that the Veterans Affairs department fired him partly due to his sexual orientation, and that he had experienced unspecified “negative treatment” while working there because he was gay.

Semian also claims he was terminated and served as a “scapegoat” for understaffing and quality issues at the center, the Wilkes-Barre Citizen's Voice reported Monday. The facility's license was downgraded twice in 2015 due to resident care issues, many of which allegedly stemmed from positions going unfilled or covered by people with inadequate training, Semian's complaint claims.

He allegedly “continuously complained to his superiors at the department that a competent [DON] and infection control and wound nurse was critical to the health care needs of the resident veterans,” and proposed a new organizational structure for the facility that was never implemented, the lawsuit reads.

A spokeswoman for the department told McKnight's she was unable to comment on pending litigation.

Semian's suit seeks compensation for lost wages and expected future earnings, damages for physical and emotional injuries, humiliation and harm to his professional reputation.