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January 22, 2013

Anti-gay ‘Christian’ Ashley Furniture fires lesbian staffer because ‘God told them to’; tosses ‘n-word’ around office

Posted in: civil rights,ENDA,LGBT,racism

Ashley FurnitureWell, if the President is serious about his commitment to equality, as he mentioned in his inaugural address (“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law“), he may want to take a look at that non-discrimination executive order again. After all, Ashley Furniture is a federal contractor and would have to stop this behavior right quick if he signed it. Back2Stonewall:

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 wheather 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 statementYour 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.’”

And Ashley Furniture receives bonus points for employing someone who cultivates a racist environment by its purported “Christian” Martin (Courthouse News):

“During this meeting, Martin made a number of derogatory remarks about homosexuals, stating that ‘lesbos and gays would be judged’ and that she follows the ‘word of Leviticus’ – which purportedly condemns homosexuality – and that ‘there are many who call themselves true Christians, but they don’t know what that means.” (Brackets in complaint.)

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.

Photo by bizjournal under creative commons license

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