Out Employee Sues Boss—For Being Too Gay Friendly!

Apparently it is possible to have too much of a good thing: A gay man in New York is claiming he was axed because he complained about his boss’s policy against hiring straight guys.

Jamie Ardigo, a former HR director at J Christopher Capital, Ardigo, 32, told ABC News that on several occasions his boss, entrepreneur (and former Tory Burch co-owner) J. Christopher Burch, made it clear he only “only likes to hire gay men and beautiful women.”

Ardigo, who started with Burch in November 2011, says he was fired for raising questions about his employer’s hiring practices and the office atmosphere, which he called “inappropriate.” He cited one instance where an employee asked him, “Oh, are you going to introduce me to another gay guy?” and another where a male staffer said a female co-worker had a dildo in her purse. His reports on those instances, he says, “ended in absolutely nothing.”

Ardigo found this troubling on two levels, he says: As a gay man, he personally was offended. And as an HR professional “keenly aware” of the need to maintain a non-discriminatory atmosphere in the workplace, he knew that both the attitude expressed and any hiring that bore it out was contrary to federal and New York City law.

“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.”

Ardigo is suing Burch for $1 million for wrongful termination and sex discrimination. Burch’s attorneys deny Ardigo’s discrimination claim and say he was axed for performance-related issues.

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  • J Bocca

    Cool, way to screw your own Ardingbat. Idiot.

  • Johnny

    Sounds like another gay gold digger.

  • Chuck

    Sounds like someone actually has morals.

    Discrimination against straight people is rare, but it can occur and is something that is ridiculously stupid to engage in if you support gay rights.

  • Belize

    @J Bocca: Screwing his own for wanting equality which “his own” has been fighting for long before you came out of your mother’s vagina? Get over yourself you hypocritical queen. People like you are the reason as to why the LGBT movement is having such a hard time. Being gay doesn’t make you any more important than another human being.

  • bledoutcolor

    I have to agree with Chuck. And shame on the first two commenters. Straight discrimination is just as wrong as it is when we are discriminated. You can’t say your for civil rights and equality and then say **** like that. It’s hypocricy plain and simple. Sounds like he is standing op for what’s right.

    I don’t buy that he was terminated due to poor performance. He sounds like he is concerned about his coworkers and as a HR director it seems like he is legitimately concerned about equal office treatment. Being fair is in no way “screwing your own.” Its only right to call our brothers and sisters in the lgbtqia community out on their bull**** just like we do with any other person practicing wrongf in my discrimination. If you love someone you tell them when they are in the wrong. That’s all this guy did.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I don’t see any problem with discriminating against hets. Turn about is fair play.

  • Chance

    If what Ardigo claims is true, than this is absolutely a problem, and as to the person who said that turnabout is fair play–if you keep “turning about” then you’re going to end up very busy from just going in circles over and over again. Because if gays discriminate against straights, thinking it’s fair because they discriminate against us, then they are going to take that as an excuse to just KEEP discriminating against us. Because, well…turnabout is fair play, right?

  • Triple S

    It’s rare, but it does exist, and I fully agree with what he’s decided to do. If for nothing else, working with a more diverse crowd would be a more comfortable thing for me. Hanging around screaming queens all day would get VERY tiresome quickly (cause, come on, are there going to be any other gays other than the screaming kind working there?).

    Why do some of us view heterosexual discrimination as unimportant? Are we now hypocrites? We help them, they help us. OK, maybe it’s not so simple, but we can at least attempt it.

  • Jim

    Obviously you blokes know nothing about labor law. (That’s a shame — most of us have jobs, so you really ought to.)

    This whole article is absurdly off-base. Here are the facts:

    (1) Making a complaint about working conditions is a protected activity. You can’t fire a person for engaging in a protected activity, regardless of the person’s “at will” employment status. (You can, but you’ll potentially be on the hook for paying that person’s salary up to retirement age. So, really — if you’re a boss, don’t do that.)

    (2) A discriminatory, inappropriately sexualized work place is not “too much of a good thing.” (Sorry, Queerty editors.) It’s just illegal.

    I find it nauseating how some guys wrap themselves in a rainbow flag and act as though anything they do is morally justified because they like dick. In this case, we’re apparently supposed to rally behind some cretin who engaged in illegal harassment and discrimination just because he’s on “our team.” How juvenile. How gross.

  • Joseph

    Given the unfortunate swing and bent that most employers have been on, where do I apply?!

  • Adam

    This article’s very title is completely misleading. So “gay-friendly” is equal to discrimination against straight people and ugly women?! Disgusting journalism.

  • Adam

    Edit: not ugly women; hiring women based on their looks.

  • MJ

    there is no betrayal against the gay community. more like Ardigo is trying to make a fair workplace, whether the boss or some of you like it or not. I don’t like straight people either, and this is obviously a straight guy using gay men so he can have a higher chance with the “beautiful women”. even if he was gay himself it’s still a form of discrimination based on 1) sexuality, and 2) physical appearance. thank you Mr. Ardigo for having integrty; something that is lost EVERYWHERE you go in the U.S.

  • kevininbuffalo

    ” I don’t like straight people either”
    You’re a heterophobic bigot.

  • PTBoat

    Those hiring practices might be contrary to New York law, but they certainly certainly don’t violate any federal laws. The only thing he might have to say anything about, federally, is a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment, but did she show him the dildo or did he overhear that his coworker had a dildo concealed in her purse?

  • BryanC

    @bledoutcolor: according to the article, he didn’t like working there anyway, so I don’t get why he is so devastated at being fired.

Comments are closed.