A gay HR director has sued his former employer, saying the company was biased against straight job applicants.
Jamie Ardigo says he was hired as HR director for J. Christopher Capital, a Manhattan firm owned by J. Christopher Burch.
But, according to court papers, from the beginning of his employment, Ardigo began to overhear senior level execs “make inappropriate comments regarding gender and sexual orientation.”
They weren’t the kind of comments usually mentioned in these types of lawsuits: “Ardigo heard Burch, the company owner, state that he ‘only hired gay men because they were productive and he trusted them.’”
The comments made Ardigo, who is gay, uneasy. “I was highly concerned for the organization and uncomfortable myself working there,” he told ABC News. “I had never worked for an organization that made decisions based on that or that made comments like that.”
Ardigo went to another company official to complain about the comments, the court documents say, but the exec merely said, “Well, he’s the owner of the company.”
Ardigo also claimed he had recommended that a male employee accused of sexually harassing a female colleague be disciplined, but no action was taken.
Instead, he said, his supervisor started to put pressure on Ardigo to reveal personal information — like his sexual preference. When he resisted, the supervisor started to make unfounded complaints about his job performance, Ardigo said.
Finally, Ardigo was fired. His supervisor said he was “not a right fit” for the company.
He filed suit against his employer, alleging sex discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation. To read his full complaint, go here.