Discriminating Matters

Dear Dr. Darcy: I was recently fired from a job and I’m not sure if I should do anything about it or if I should just focus on getting a new job. Basically I was hired to be an assistant and my boss kept making sexual comments about me which made me uncomfortable and eventually I told him that I’m gay hoping he’d stop. Two days later I was fired because they ‘didn’t have enough work for all the employees.’ I really think my being fired was related to me coming out. So what do you think? Should I be attorney hunting or job hunting?

ANSWER

You should be doing both. And because humans tend to forget the details about events rather quickly, I suggest that you begin documenting as many details as you remember so that when you meet with attorneys you’ll have your facts straight. Having a lawsuit can become all encompassing. It can also feel like a negative experience, even if you’re the person instituting the lawsuit. For that reason, I would recommend job hunting immediately so you have more in your life than a process of vindication.

I also think that you went about setting a boundary with your boss in an odd way: You needn’t have told him that you were gay because you have a right to work in a harassment-free workplace, regardless of your sexual orientation. You attempted to set a boundary, which was a good move, but you did it by trying to rationalize with someone who wasn’t operating from a place of law abidance or from logic. You can’t rationalize with a schmuck. All you can do is tell him that his comments are making you uncomfortable (i.e., setting a boundary) and if the comments don’t stop, you need to report him.

You’ll need to find yourself a good attorney. Send me an email if you need some names. I don’t know which state you live in but I’m sure the attorneys who I refer to in NYC can refer you to someone in your state if you don’t live locally. Best of luck to you.

Writer's Stats: Female, gay.