Home Depot Accused Of “Targeting Gay Men For Termination”

Home Depot LogoHardy “Lex” Housh worked at Home Depot for 25 years. But shortly after he added his domestic partner to his insurance coverage, the company fired him. In a recent court filing, Housh said that Home Depot targeted gay men for termination “in an attempt to meet a quota for reducing its workforce” after the 2007 housing crisis.

Housh’s complaint states, “After learning that plaintiff was gay, defendant district manager Jeff Grooms increasingly tormented plaintiff by use of wrongful discipline (i.e., false write-ups that were backdated), ridicule during walkthroughs, outward physical conduct (i.e., ignoring plaintiff’s suggestions and comments during management meetings; making improper sexual gestures with his hands and body when plaintiff was near him), encouraging and participating in false write-ups during 2011 and, when plaintiff would not quit, by terminating him with a false write-up.”

Stephen Holmes, a Home Depot spokesperson, defended the company to the Huffington Post yesterday, saying, “We strongly disagree with Mr. Housh’s claims and we will address them in the proper forum. The fact is that we’re proud of our record for supporting our LGBT associates and maintaining our commitment to diversity throughout our workforce.”

If Housh’s claims prove to have merit, it will paint a much different portrait of the home improvement giant than what we have come to expect. Three years ago, the American Family Association staged a boycott against the company, claiming that it promoted a homosexual agenda. And just last month, a video of two gay men getting engaged in a Salt Lake City Home Depot went viral.

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  • niles

    Frankly, some of the bitchy ones at the registers need to go.

  • hyhybt

    It is quite possible for a friendly company to have a district manager who isn’t, if they know to hide it… and until enough reports get past them to be credible.

  • Ron Jackson

    Aye, sounds like there is a bad apple in the management team. Let’s hope HD takes the necessary steps to get rid of it.

  • Spike

    Homo Depot don’t like the homos?!!? Tragic.

  • Mike

    By ‘LGBT’ they mean lesbians.

  • jwrappaport

    @Mike: Beat me to it. Isn’t Home Depot like Starbucks for lesbians?

    I kid! I kid!

  • Taliaferro

    Perhaps Jeff Grooms is the problem, a single homophobic bigot, in which case Home Depot would do well to fire him and rehire Mr. Housh. One person should not be allowed to lessen the good work Home Depot says it does for the LGBT community.

  • robho3

    I am a gay man(quite gay in fact) and worked at The Home Depot for 5+ years. I found the company a great place to work. There were always a few red neck homophobes on the staff but if they ever gave me a hard time they were shut down by the management. I think this was an isolated incident or there was more going on here than Mr Housh is saying.

  • Jerry12

    There is always Lowes to shop at.

  • dewin

    My sentiments, exactly. No more Home Depot!

  • Geoff B

    I would like to hear the other side. I would wonder what this person’s personnel file looked like before I pass judgement. Years ago at a previous job, I had a problem employee who worked under me (not like that, yuk,yuk), and when he was finally let go, by my boss, I was accused of having a problem with him because he was gay. Imagine his surprise when he found out by the CEO of the company that I was gay too (his daughter was a friend of mine). He was just a crap employee trying to pull shit (plus we kept very careful paperwork). Not saying this is the case here, but in cases like this, I have to take pause.

  • JohnnyRalph

    Bears are more masculine than most straight men, so this is kind of nonsensical

  • Cam

    The headline makes it sound like this is a company policy, but the article makes it clear that this is an issue between one employee and his district manager.

    That seems to be a bit of irresponsible reporting.

  • 2eo

    @Cam: Rihanra Hilton Oncay has released a new song or something, so we should be thankful they acknowledge us regular people even exist.

  • mike1988

    It would take a lot more than this one story to make me think there is a systemic problem throughout all of Home Depot. There is hardly a company in any industry more supportive and it is the only home improvement store I frequent. However, even the most supportive company WILL have homophobic employees. Homphobes are everywhere. We have to keep a focus on the big picture here. If you want someone to boycott, boycott Exxon Mobile.

  • Cam

    @2eo: LOL

  • wtbranch

    Ban imposed on Home Depot is RECENTLY lifted by many in the Christian community & now the one’s who LOVED them brand them homophobic…I guess this is what happens when Home Depot stops parading children & making donations during the annual marches. Ya just can’t make this up!!!

  • jstepp88

    I will always support Home Depot. They sponsored Outserve in the Atlanta Pride parade last year and allowed us to walk in the parade.

Comments are closed.