News :: Workplace

Gay Man Sues Boss For Allegedly Discriminating Against Heterosexuals

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday May 11, 2012
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A New Jersey gay man is suing his New York City boss because he allegedly only hired gays, ABC News reported.

Jamie Ardigo, 32, filed a $1 million lawsuit against investor and entrepreneur J. Christopher Burch for sex-discrimination and wrongful termination. Ardigo was hired as a human resources director for Burch’s company, J. Christopher Capital. But the plaintiff says he was let go after he tried to change the business’ discriminatory practices.

The 32-year-old told the news station that when he started work at the company he was not aware of its practices.

"Did I have any inkling what I was getting into? No, I did not. I went there with the expectation that, as I’d been told, there was a family environment where employees and managers supported one another, and there was an open-door policy," he told ABC News.

Adrigo said a month later he was in a meeting with Burch who said that he only hired gay men because "they were productive, and because he trusted them," ABC notes.

"I witnessed it in meetings with the executive management team, where he’d blatantly state the fact that he only likes to hire gay men and beautiful women," Adrigo said.

The plaintiff said he was bothered by Burch’s statements because he is gay and because he is an HR professional and knew that he had to keep a non-discriminatory atmosphere.

"I was highly concerned for the organization and uncomfortable myself working there," he says. "I had never worked for an organization that made decisions based on that or that made comments like that."

He also said that his supervisor started to pressure him to "reveal information about himself."

"He stated that he needed to trust me, and in order to do that he needed to know more about me," he said. "Knowing the culture of the organization, hearing about their hiring only gay men, I felt there was an expectation that I had to reveal that information in order to be successful at work."

As an HR worker he said he found the pressure "highly inappropriate."

His complaint alleges that his job performance was "highly regarded within the company" and that the general manager Jennifer Grillo publically acknowledged it.

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