Openly gay teen alleges anti-gay discrimination at work

16-year-old Tyler Brandt claims he was forced to wear a name tag with a homophobic slur on it. (x)

16-year-old Tyler Brandt claims he was forced to wear a name tag with a homophobic slur on it. (x)

An openly gay 16-year-old is accusing his former manager of workplace discrimination. Tyler Brandt claims he was forced to wear a name tag with a homophobic slur in front of customers.

Brandt resigned from the fast food restaurant Taco John’s on Tuesday and kept the name tag as evidence. “He pulled me into the office and gave me a name tag that read ‘Gaytard’ on it and asked me to wear it,” Brandt said. “So, I put it on because I didn’t want to upset him and I felt that if I did do anything to upset him, it would cause me to lose my job because he’d be looking for ways to fire me.”

According to Brandt, he tried taking the name tag off several times, but his manager would always make him put it back on. “I would always stay behind the till so they couldn’t see the name tag, I didn’t want them to see it, but even though they couldn’t see it, he would still call me by the name across the store and customers would notice,” he said.

Taco John’s International Inc. officials refuse to investigate the matter because franchise locations are independently owned and operated. The company is, however, required to have anti-discrimination policies and says it does not tolerate workplace harassment. Restaurant Manager John Scott claims Brandt chose the nickname himself as a joke and denies that he was forced to wear the name tag.

Brandt said the harassment continued until he decided to quit. “After I handed them over my uniform, they really didn’t say anything, they just said ‘ok’ and when we went to walk out, he lifted out his hand and said ‘Name tag?’ as though he deserved to have that name tag after his son labeled me,” he said.

The short URL of the present article is: http://lgbteen.org/TJ9kH

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