Gross news out of Manhattan this morning: A former employee of an event planning company has filed a lawsuit claiming his boss slashed his salary for being gay.
Wesley Wernecke, 32, began working with Eventique this June, the New York Post reports. Just a week after joining the company, a coworker asked about his wedding ring, and Wernecke mentioned his husband, Evan. Wernecke’s boss, Henry “Liron” David, was also present at the time, and, according to court filings, took immediate retaliatory action.
Wernecke claims that David began excluding him from company meetings, business assignments and after-work drinks with male coworkers. “David took all these tactics to exclude Wernecke because David had already made up his mind that, despite the proficiency of Wernecke’s work, he would not accept having an openly gay man working in the office, and he intended to get rid of Wernecke,” the court documents read.
Just three months into Wernecke’s tenure, David also informed him that he would be cutting his salary from $145,000 to $70,000. “I couldn’t sleep at night thinking you were being paid so much more than the other females in the office,” David reportedly said at the time. In actuality, David cut Wernecke’s salary to under $58,000.
Two weeks after the meeting, David fired Wernecke, citing “deficiencies” in his performance. “About a week and a half after Wesley began work in the office, the employer learned he is gay, and then immediately began systematically shutting him out of the job,” Wernecke’s lawyer, Anthony Consiglio, said. “These acts cannot be reconciled with the liberal anti-discrimination positions written into law in New York City and State to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender people in their workplaces.”
Henry David has denied all charges of discrimination. The case remains pending in a Manhattan court.