Terminated for Being in a Gay Bar..Reality sets in.

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    Aug 07, 2008 10:43 PM GMT
    Up until today I've never really paid a lot of attention to gay discrimination. Well today it finally hit home.

    Friday night the staff accountant for my largest client ran into me at the local club. Strangely enough she stopped in the next night, Saturday, and was there about 5 minutes, just long enough to run into me again. She had never been in there before Friday night.

    Today the owner came out to my apartment to let me know I was being terminated for unspecific performance concerns. Keep in mind I had never heard a word about this before this week. Never a verbal complaint, never a written complaint, never an objection to a bill, nothing until this week. I'm calling bullshit on this one.

    Anyone here ever been terminated for something like being in a gay bar or just being gay/bi?
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    Aug 07, 2008 10:49 PM GMT
    I'm sorry that this happened to you. It is a crazy time that we live in where just being in a bar might get you fired. But something does smell off about the accountant going in their twice and then being let go for "unspecific performance concerns." You may never get the whole story but I wish you luck in finding that next job that treats you with respect and additionally values your integrity.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 07, 2008 10:52 PM GMT
    Never... and I would want to know the specific reason I was being terminated. I have no idea what kind of organization you are employed by, but I would try and find out whatever you can to determine if (in fact) there is a relationship between seeing the client in a gay bar and your termination. Generally there are warnings given, prior to dismissal.

    One thing... don't just fly off the handle, review your performance with some clarity... did you really do your job in a way you know to be diligent, thorough and professional. Is there really anything you did that could justify such dismissal.

    Also review all information in your employee handbook regarding procedures taken... what I would want to know if if the employer violated your rights as an employee by their actions taken. Also I'm curious, did you get a severence package. What did they offer you to go away? Did you agree to anything in writing?

    My suggestion is to consider visiting a labor law attorney if there seems to be no justification. Ask questions and get facts! Just hearing this concerns me.
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    Aug 07, 2008 10:53 PM GMT
    Wow buddy... that is terrible. It's a sad slap in the face when I hear stories like these. I've never lost a job for being gay, but I have lost several clients when they found out that I was gay.

    Most of the time I sit back and look at how far everyone and everything has come along, but every now and then you realize just how hateful some people can be.

    Something that I ran into yesterday totally blew me away. I was at the gym and was relaxing in the sauna. A guy came in and asked if it was ok if he came in. There were 2 other guys in there at the same time. I said yes of course, why wouldn't it be? He said that he had tried to walk in there an hour before and someone in there told him that black guys were not allowed in the sauna. I was floored. I don't think that I'd ever even heard of this happening in my lifetime. It's very sad.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that it is sad that there are still ignorant people in this day and age. But there are. Look at all the people still trying to ban gay marriage. But I wouldn't take it lying down. I'm not sure if in your line of work you have a Human resorces department that you could take this to, but I would definitely give the local ACLU office a call. Like right now!

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    Aug 07, 2008 10:53 PM GMT
    Dammit... just like that? icon_confused.gif
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    Aug 07, 2008 10:53 PM GMT
    YngHungSFSD saidUp until today I've never really paid a lot of attention to gay discrimination. Well today it finally hit home.

    Friday night the staff accountant for my largest client ran into me at the local club. Strangely enough she stopped in the next night, Saturday, and was there about 5 minutes, just long enough to run into me again. She had never been in there before Friday night.

    Today the owner came out to my apartment to let me know I was being terminated for unspecific performance concerns. Keep in mind I had never heard a word about this before this week. Never a verbal complaint, never a written complaint, never an objection to a bill, nothing until this week. I'm calling bullshit on this one.

    Anyone here ever been terminated for something like being in a gay bar or just being gay/bi?


    No and if I suspected it I would challenge it legally. I'd want to know just exactly what these "unspecific performance concerns" were.

    You say there were never any write ups or complaints in the past? Were there ever any written compliments of high praise in regard to work performance?

    If so, and you really feel this is related to your sexuality, I'd quietly go and get some legal counsel and lay out the whole thing to them. Don't tell your former employer nor verbally threaten them with legal action just quietly collect your information and see if you have a solid case.

    I wanted to add I'm sincerely sorry you are going through all of this. If what you are saying is the complete story then it's fucked up!
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    Aug 07, 2008 10:55 PM GMT
    Contact your attorney. Something isnt right. I smell some shit in the air.
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    Aug 07, 2008 10:55 PM GMT
    Yes, isn't there protection against Discrimination by Sexual orientation in the US already?
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    Aug 07, 2008 10:56 PM GMT
    That sucks! Clearly, if they never gave you any written warnings, something is fishy is going on. I don't know what the laws are like where you live, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to speak to an attorney. You may have a case for discrimination. Try contacting LAMBDA (www.lambdaLegal.org).
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:00 PM GMT
    "Jokes" were made in the past regarding this. I often work in a server closet when doing Network related work. Well the owner has asked me if I was in the closet again. She also outright said at one point that if I turned out to be "one of those kind we will have to disown you". This is the reason I tried to play it off on Friday, and why my friend attempted to reassure her accountant that I was in fact straight. The owner is a well known right wing, conservative, religious fundamentalist; that has made her views clear multiple times in one "joke" or another. The kind that has little bible quotes taped all over the place, uses verses for passwords, etc. Given that there was never one word about this prior to being spotted at the bar, there is no doubt she was purging her organization of its association with the sinful.

    Thanks for listening to the venting.....GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR icon_evil.gif


    The reality of a lawsuit is that they have almost endless resources to defend it and at the end of the day it changes nothing. I'm pretty screwed financially and that will change from my own efforts long before a suit would go anywhere.
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:06 PM GMT
    So the staff accountant outed you? Any reason why she would do that?

    I am sure you have no legal basis to take any action against your client. I suppose you could make whatever gay organizations that you have in South Dakota aware of this. Who knows, maybe some day that knowledge will come back to bite your client in the butt.

    Oh just a minute, if she is a client with you, does she have a contract with you?

    By the way, what is the name of your clients firm, so I can be sure never to accidently do any business with them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:06 PM GMT
    So the staff accountant outed you? Any reason why she would do that?

    I am sure you have no legal basis to take any action against your client. I suppose you could make whatever gay organizations that you have in South Dakota aware of this. Who knows, maybe some day that knowledge will come back to bite your client in the butt.

    Oh just a minute, if she is a client with you, does she have a contract with you?

    By the way, what is the name of your clients firm, so I can be sure never to accidently do any business with them.
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:06 PM GMT
    Sedative> isn't there protection against Discrimination by Sexual orientation in the US already?

    Nope. ENDA has yet to pass... so - in most states - we can still fire people for the "crime" of being heterosexual....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Non-Discrimination_Act
    || Currently, 13 states and the District of Columbia have policies protect against both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington in the public and private sector.
    || Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York and Wisconsin have state laws that protect agaist discrimination based on sexual orientation only. Fifteen other states have laws[3] that have been interpreted to protect transgender persons.

    See also:
    http://www.thetaskforce.org/issues/nondiscrimination/ENDA_main_page

  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Aug 07, 2008 11:07 PM GMT
    Wow guy, that's F*kED UP!!! But it sounds like there is more then meets the eye to this situation, are you sure you don't have any law suit options? Do you have a friend in your former organization that you really trust to dig around for you?
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:10 PM GMT
    The legal form of the relationship had two facets. I was an employee in one capacity and an independent contractor in another capacity. So I lost both a part time position and the largest client of my business. There was no contract, the services were performed as needed and billed as accrued.
  • joeindallas

    Posts: 484

    Aug 07, 2008 11:10 PM GMT
    I had to shift departments since I told somebody I had attended a Gay Marraige in Boston. Hate to say this man SD you are probally screwed. Might try the US AGs office there. my second cousin Sean worked there and it might be a start
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 07, 2008 11:19 PM GMT
    I would march right into that office and say
    I need a list of the SPECIFIC performance concerns
    ... and tell them you need a copy sent to....
    and you don't even have to name that the copy is to be sent to a lawyer
    just give them another name so THEY think so

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:20 PM GMT
    YngHungSFSD said"Jokes" were made in the past regarding this. I often work in a server closet when doing Network related work. Well the owner has asked me if I was in the closet again. She also outright said at one point that if I turned out to be "one of those kind we will have to disown you". This is the reason I tried to play it off on Friday, and why my friend attempted to reassure her that I was in fact straight. The owner is a well known right wing, conservative, fundamentalist; that has made her views clear multiple times in one "joke" or another.

    Thanks for listening the venting.....GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR icon_evil.gif


    WOW, can anyone else validate her so called "joking" comments?

    You really need to seek legal council. If she presented a pattern of discrimination on the job even through joking and others can bare witness to that then your allegations will have merit. Although in hindsight there should have been some complaint issued about her comments in advance.

    The immediate solution is to check into wrongful termination. One of the most fucked up problems with your current state laws about discrimination is that they don't really clarify if homophobia falls under the term sexual discrimination when it is seen in the workforce.

    The law clearly covers, gender and gender neutral and bases it on the spectrum of equal pay or blatant sexual misconduct. They cover the handicap as well but for some reason they never specify in actual word the term homosexuality. Which could easily benefit you by stating because of this you felt a need to keep your sexuality a secret. Not to mention it was obvious to you that your employer clearly did not think highly of homosexuals within the workplace.

    The best approach in court would be to establish that an entity so highly valued such as the American Psychological Association stands firmly behind the belief that all the same protections now guaranteed to others on the basis of race, creed, color, etc must be applied to homosexuals.

    Your best bet would be to begin with wrongful termination simply based on the way in which you were notified. Is this standard practice within this company to go to an employees home to tell them they are fired and yet give no specified reason? Thats fucking odd. Have they paid you for all work completed up to the point of termination?

    Try to find anyone who has been terminated in the past from the same company and ask how they were notified and were they given any advanced warnings so that any problems could be worked out before termination was the solution.
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:25 PM GMT
    Good points. As an employee, he may have grounds based on creating a hostile workplace. In a court, she may have to present evidence of unsatisfactory work performance. Also, show why there was no prior warning of such unsatisfactory work performance and if she summarily dismisses others without any notice for unsatisfactory work performance. This could possibly give a legal basis, skirting the gay issue.
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    Aug 07, 2008 11:46 PM GMT
    A guy I work with came to a work summer party in full drag and brought his sleezy boyfriend who stuck his hand up my cousin's skirt...


    I would dearly love to get him fired but alas not possible.
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    Aug 08, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    Part of me wants to say f*ck it and just chalk it up to a blessing that I don't have to go around hiding and walking on egg shells because of a homophobic nazi.

    Yet part of me says that I should not just walk away as a matter of principles worth defending. Regardless of what I decide to do, this is a good learning lesson on nothing being worth having to hide. If they had known at that time I wouldn't have gotten the job, but now that they found out I don't have it anyway. It's just tough when that client spends a few grand a month with you and your livelihood depends on that client. There are probably a few lessons in this, the primary one being that I will refuse to hide myself from anyone again. I'm not the kind of guy to wear a rainbow on my sleeve but I won't hide it again if it comes down to it.
  • ajw18

    Posts: 141

    Aug 08, 2008 1:06 AM GMT
    It sounds like you have a lot of substance if you decided to take this to court. This is clearly an account of wrongful discrimination. But it will also depend on the views of your local and state justices are (as they ultimately are the ones to determine the outcome of a case). I would definitely look into getting the help of a big gay organization who will be able to help you match the defendant's resources.
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    Aug 08, 2008 1:08 AM GMT
    I know a good hit man.....LOLicon_evil.gif

    I say move on...walk away and forget it. It can eat you up. The world is so much more, than dependent of firkin people like them.

    In reality they are the small fish in a much bigger pond...I am serious about that. Also Karma will get them in the end. I have seen this ALL BEFORE and in the end you will win!icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 08, 2008 1:08 AM GMT
    Last year One worked for a Mormon employer. Whom had lots of other Mormons working for them.

    All was fin and dandy until One let it out not only was One still a Mormon, But a homosexual too. Well it was all down hill from there. I even ended up having too take a few of their employees to court, as they where trying to have One labeled as a pedophile.

    One go dismissed for the same reasons as you did. And One had never received a written warning or anything either. But after the court case, that I won. I hope they will think twice next time!

    These people got too see a side of me, that few get to see. Me angry. When One is pissed off, One never mincers ones words, and I don't care whom you are, or the position of your job!
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    Aug 08, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    um...this is screaming lawsuit. firstly, i would need to know why i was being terminated, how was my performance a factor, why were these so called issues never brought to my attention, why was i not placed on a performance development track? i would ask all of these questions, and quite frankly would even aski if it is because of ur sexuality. this is ridiculous and i am so sorry that you are dealng with this, but this is where u stand up for urself and fight the discrimination bud.

    good luck