Recently, news broke that the Boy Scouts of America is considering revisiting its longstanding ban on allowing gay scouts and scoutmasters. This news has attracted quite a bit of attention because the Boy Scouts is an iconic U.S. organization and this policy has been attacked as anti-gay and discriminatory.
Perhaps lost in the national coverage is a local footnote: that of the allegation made by a Michigan woman who alleges that she was fired from the kitchen staff of a boy scout summer camp in Metamora for being a lesbian.
The 19-year-old woman claims that last summer, she told a fellow worker that she identifies as lesbian. A few days later, she claims, she was called into the camp director’s office and told she was being terminated. She said she was asked to sign a document that she claims stated she was being fired for being a “sexual minority.”
The woman has said that camp staff told her she could stay for dinner, but had to leave immediately thereafter, despite the fact that she had no transportation for the two-hour ride home. She has said she asked for a copy of the policy forbidding gay employees, but was not given one.
Michigan Boy Scout sources have turned down local reporters’ requests for comment, but a spokesman for the national organization told a reporter that the Boy Scouts of America “follows all applicable laws” and that it does not “unlawfully discriminate.”
The woman has contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about her termination and is awaiting a response.
For many employees who believe that they were wrongfully terminated, discrimination is a slippery subject. Although it can feel in the moment like discrimination is obvious, proving unlawful discrimination (please note we said “unlawful”) is, unfortunately, harder than most people would anticipate.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against or wrongfully terminated, you should consider speaking to an employment law attorney about the matter. It would be a mistake to just let the matter rest before you have fully investigated what options you have.
Source: PrideSource, “Anti-Gay Boy Scout Ban Leads to Employment Discrimination — In Michigan,” Dawn Wolfe, Feb. 21, 2013
- For more information, you are welcome to visit our Wrongful Termination page.