A man has sued his boss for discrimination after he allegedly slashed his worker’s salary to bring his pay into line with “other females” after learning he was gay.
Two weeks after joining New York events company Eventique, worker Wesley Wernecke opened up about his sexuality and told colleagues he was gay.
However, boss Henry David “began systematically shutting him out of the job” and was present when another co-worker who mentioned his “girly” wedding ring and asked what his wife’s looked like.
Wernecke replied his male partner had a similar wedding ring to his. But after this exchange, he claims his boss began ostracising him from meetings and events, NBC News reported.
“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 lawsuit alleges.
After just three months, David lowered his salary from $145,000 to $70,000. Then, he lowered Wernecke’s pay even further to $58,000 before firing him last month.
Discrimination impacted worker’s mental health
The complaint alleges that David said, “I couldn’t sleep at night thinking you were being paid so much more than the other females in the office.”
“Neither Wernecke’s professional experience and accomplishments nor the good will he brought to Eventique’s work earned him equality,” the lawsuit reads.
The alleged discrimination took a toll on Wernecke’s mental health. He said he saw a psychiatrist and began taking anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication to cope.
Wernecke claims David fired him after “errors” and “deficiencies” in his performance and his cost to the business.
David’s lawyer denied the allegations to NBC News, calling them “baseless.”
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