Words: Steve Brown
A man’s salary was slashed in half to bring his pay in line with ‘other females’ after his boss learnt about his sexuality, according to a lawsuit.
Two weeks after joining Eventique – an event company with clients including Spotify, Amazon and Twitter - Wesley Wernecke opened up about his sexuality and told colleagues he was gay.
However, his boss, Henry ‘Liron’ David, ‘began systematically shutting him out of the job’ and was present during another co-worker who mentioned his ‘flashy’ and ‘girly’ wedding ring and asked what his wife’s ring looked like.
Wernecke replied his partner, Evan, had a similar ring and from here, he claims his boss began alienating him.
In court documents obtained by the New York Post, Wernecke claims: “David took all these tactics to exclude Wernecke because 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.”
After just three months, David lowered his salary from $145,000 to £70,000 and then to a further $58,000 before firing him.
According to the lawsuit, David is alleged to have said: “I couldn’t sleep at night thinking you were being paid so much more than the other females in the office.”
“David’s reference to Wernecke as one of the ‘females in the office’ was intended, again, to reinforce Wernecke’s understanding that David considered Wernecke to be a sexual deviant and unfit to work at Eventique,” the lawsuit charges.
Wernecke was fired on the pretence he couldn’t afford to keep him on and claims there were ‘errors’ and ‘deficiencies’ in his performance.
“These acts cannot be reconciled with the liberal anti-discrimination positions written into law in New York City and State to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender people in their workplaces,” Wernecke’s lawyer Anthony Consiglio said.