Supporting Gay Marriage Cost Me My Job, Worker Claims

A young man who’d worked for a Nashville concert venue for seven years lost his job on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—and he says the firing was retaliation for wearing a shirt endorsing same-sex marriage.

Wes Breedwell tweeted a picture of himself wearing the t-shirt, writing, “Got fired from Rocketown today. Social media is what did it.”

Over 1,000 people have “liked” that picture on Instagram.

AOL Jobs reported that Breedwell has said he lost his job for “non-Christian activity on social media pages,” and linked to “a photo that appeared to be a document given to Breedwell on his firing. ‘You cannot wear a shirt to work on an office day or a show day supporting same sex marriage,’ it states.”

The AOL Jobs article broke down the relevant statues: “Under federal law, and in most states, including Tennessee, it is not illegal to fire someone for being gay, or supporting gay marriage. But it is illegal to discriminate against an employee for his or her religious beliefs.”

This story is unfolding as the regulation of employees’ social media use is evolving. In sweeping changes affecting “virtually all private sector employers,” the National Labor Relations Board recently protected workers’ freedom “to discuss work conditions” on social media.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that “in a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared [..] blanket restrictions [on social media posts about employers] illegal.” Those restrictions are common; many thousands of companies appear to violate these new rules.

Blogs like Gothamist and Esquire‘s “Culture Blog” have posted humorous, informal guides to the implications of the rulings.

If you’ve suffered discrimination or mistreatment in the workplace, contact The Harman Firm today.