My husband, was recently employed at a local car company to sell cars. He was with another employee and also a couple interested in purchasing a car. The couple had their young child with them- I don't know if it was a boy or girl, but the child had red hair. While the other employee was talking to the couple my husband was entertaining the child. When speaking to the parents, my husband commented that he had recently read an article that sperm banks were not accepting deposits from red headed people- that redheaded children were in demand. The wife made some comment about that's not how she felt and then she reached over and ran her fingers through her husband hair.
Later that day, my husband was called into the managers office and given the riot act. He was told his comment was totaly inappropriate and was highly discriminatory. He was told he might be terminated and this was going all the way to the legal department. A few days later he was again called in to the General Managers office and again told that he did something very terrible and they are waiting to hear from the corporate office wether or not he will be terminated.
From a legal stand point- was this comment discriminatory? It wasn't the couple he was talking to that complained- it was another employee who overheard the conversation. I know that's important, but how could this comment be viewed as discriminating to anyone? My husband has been so stresed about this.
What is your advice?
1 Answer from Attorneys
It was not discriminatory in light of the kind of discrimination about which a lawsuit could be filed. Husband can ask for a meeting with his boss(es) to explain. However, if he is terminated his recourse is to file for unemployment insurance.