Iowa Store Clerk Says He was Fired For Being Gay, Sues
A store clerk from outside of Des Moines, Iowa, says he was fired from his job because he is gay -- not long after he was told he was acting too "feminine" in the store, the Des Moines Register reports.
Wayne Shimer, 22, filed a lawsuit this month in Polk County District Court against Ankeny-based Casey’s General Store for anti-gay discrimination after he was fired in September.
According to the lawsuit, Sheimer, who resides in West Des Moines, says his husband wasn’t allowed in the store while he was working, even though other employers were able to bring their significant others into the store.
Shimer’s attorney, Andrew LeGrant, said Shimer, who started work at Casey’s in July 2012, was fired in September 2013. His boss told him that he had been inappropriate in a confrontation with a colleague about an incident involving a customer, but according to the lawsuit, Shimer says there has been a pattern of derogatory and discrimination against him by his supervisor.
Le Grant said that the store manager found out Shimer was gay about a month after he started working at Casey’s. In a meeting Shimer’s manager allegedly told him not to act "feminine" while working because that behavior would make customers and coworkers uncomfortable, the lawsuit says.
"She didn’t want his ’feminine behavior’ to scare off the customers, and she was concerned that it may have some impact on some of the employees," LeGrant said. "[Shimer] was blown away by that, because it was something that she approached him with completely out of the blue. It hadn’t come up even indirectly before then."
Shimer says that his supervisor made many "repeated" derogatory comments towards him, saying, "You don’t fit in normal society."