A local franchise of Ashley Furniture - a company under federal contract that regularly receives your hard-earned tax dollars - is being sued by Isabel Perez, a lesbian who was fired by the anti-gay company after "God told them to." In stark contrast to the wingnut notion that gays and lesbians enjoy the same rights as everyone else, this blatant discrimination is proof positive why non-church entities should be (and need to be) heavily regulated. Back2Stonewall broke the story on Monday:
Isabel Perez is suing the Ashley Furniture HomeStore of Secaucus, N.J., Ashley CEO Eugene Chrinian and Ashley’s director of people services and development Kathy Martin, in Federal Court because she she was fired for being a lesbian.
On October 5, 2012, Martin and and Isabella were walking in the parking lot and approached Isabella’s car when Martin asked her about an HRC decal that she had on her car. Isabella explained to Martin that the decal was an ‘equality symbol.‘ Martin then asked Isabella if it was for ‘the gays’ and then told her that she was not sure that she made the right decision about hiring her because she did not fit the ‘culture’ at the company. Martin then explained that she was going to ‘speak to God’ about it and whether Isabella should continue her employment with Ashley Furniture.
The next day Isabella was called into a meeting with Martin and Alfred Nunez (sales manager) where Martin told Isabella that she had prayed about it and that God had spoken to her and told her that she needed to let Isabella go. Martin told her: ‘You just don’t fit our culture. … I need someone in your position that can embody our mission statement. Your beliefs just don’t fit them”‘ although Martin stressed that Isabella was very competent at her job and stated that ‘We all know you are very capable and can easily manage the entire department.’”
That's not the end of it. In addition to using their religious beliefs to discriminate against an employee that otherwise had no personal life/work life interference, this particular location also has a few other discrimination problems - protected class discrimination problems:
On her first day of work, Perez claims in the complaint, she heard Martin refer to an employee as “nigga.”
When she asked Martin not to use that language in the workplace, Martin told her, “‘Girl, please. They’re different. It was nigga, not [the n-word].’ Martin then advised plaintiff that she needed to be more understanding of the company’s ‘culture,’” according to the complaint. (Brackets in complaint.) Two other human resources employees told Perez “that Martin often directed derogatory and discriminatory comments to them, including referring to them as ‘nigga’ (as well as the n-word), ‘bitch,’ ‘heifer,’ ‘ghetto,’ ‘lesbo’ and ‘fag,’ among others,” the complaint states.Perhaps they think their religion shields them from racial discrimination claims too?
[h/t to Pam's House Blend]