SAN FRANCISCO – A San Francisco man who says he was devastated after he was identified as gay (search) on a national Spanish-language radio show will be paid $270,000 by Univision Radio, an arbitrator has ruled.
Roberto Hernandez (search), 45, was driving to work in 2002 when he received a phone call from a man who said that he met Hernandez at a San Francisco gay bar. The caller then announced that the conversation was being broadcast live on the "Raul Brindis and Pepito Show," (search) based in Houston.
Hernandez worked for the local station that broadcast the show, and sold advertising for the program. He said he was so depressed by the incident that he could no longer work.
"It's a nightmare," Hernandez said. "How do you live with such an embarrassment in your life? How do you live when someone makes your life so insignificant? "
Hernandez had been discreet about disclosing his sexual orientation before the incident, not even telling his family.
Arbitrator Rebecca Westerfield found on Friday that Hernandez had suffered emotional distress but dismissed claims of sexual harassment. She said that Hernandez had no choice but to quit his job and was owed workers' compensation.
Hernandez was awarded $250,000 and nearly $20,000 in economic damages because of the emotional distress that led to seven months of unemployment after quitting his job.
Univision attorneys declined to comment on the case.