Even more proof that we need ENDA. David Hill was fired last Tuesday from his hotel job for being gay, and said the owner dared him to sue for his dismissal.
"They literally said to me because of my orientation and my alternative lifestyle, that I was not a fit for the hotel," said Hill.
The owner, Tarun Surti, remained defiant about his decision to fire Hill.
"The owner (Tarun Surti) said, 'I don't give a damn. They can sue me. I will not have any of the gays in leadership roles in my hotel.' And that's a quote," said Hill.
Although it is the hotel's employee handbook states employees should not be discriminated on the basis of gender, race, sexuality or sexual orientation, the state of Tennessee has no anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation or gender identity. However, Hill still plans to pursue legal action, and has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor.
Hill wasn't the only gay employee dismissed because of his orientation. After speaking to the local media about his disagreement with Surti's decision to fire Hill, General Mananger Leonard Studdard was fired by e-mail. Via Pam's House Blend:
"I am here in the office and shocked to hear what you had said to the media," Surti wrote in the email to Stoddard. "If it is true that you told media that David was fired because he is gay, you obviously told them a lie. Such behavior is subject to immediate termination and I would like you to restrain from coming to the hotel."
Surti previously told O&AN that Hill was fired because the company was 'scaling down' its workforce in order to survive in the troubled economy. The ex-employees claim that they were fired after Surti received a letter from a former employee which outted the hotel's gay staff.
Hmmm. Looks like Surti's feeling the heat and changed his story. Stories like this clearly illustrate why federal anti-discrimination laws for LGBT folks are needed. The last thing anyone needs, especially in a time of economic crisis, is being canned for what someone else feels is their 'lifestyle choice.'
I'm sure if religion (which is CLEARLY a lifestyle choice) was taken off the discrimination, those who oppose ENDA would change their tune. A demonstration is planned outside the hotel (760 Old Hickory Blvd, Brentwood, TN) on Saturday, Jan. 17th.