A Massachusetts man says he was fired from his management position at a Brookstone store because he told a fellow manager in the chain he disapproved of her marriage to another woman.
Peter Vidala, 24, who was second deputy manager of the Brookstone at Logan Airport in Boston, said the other manager was visiting from another Brookstone location in August and mentioned her upcoming marriage several times. After visiting the airport's chapel, Vidala said, he felt "God wanted me to express how I felt about the matter," so he told her, "Regarding your homosexuality, I think that's bad stuff," FoxNews.com reported Saturday.
He said the woman, whom he declined to identify, responded by saying, "Human resources, buddy -- keep your opinions to yourself." Two days later, Vidala said, he received a termination letter, which cited the retailer's zero-tolerance policy on harassment and inappropriate comments.
The letter read in part, "While you are entitled to your own beliefs, imposing them upon others in the workplace is not acceptable and in this case, by telling a colleague that she is deviant and immoral, constitutes discrimination and harassment."
Vidala told FoxNews.com he did tell human resources he regarded homosexuality as "deviant," but he did not use that term in talking with the woman. He also said he was "offended" by hearing about her marriage plans and believed she was trying to elicit a comment from him. "In general, I believe people don't want to hear about controversial issues like that in the workplace," he said. "They shouldn't have to." He said he is considering filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Brookstone president and CEO Ron Boire issued a statement to Fox in which he declined to comment on the specific incident beyond saying it had been investigated thoroughly and fairly, adding that Brookstone is dedicated to providing a harassment-free workplace and is proud of its diverse workforce.
Watch video of the story here.
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