AUGUSTA, Maine вЂ” The Maine Human Rights Commission has ruled there are reasonable grounds to think a longtime employee of M dyвЂ™s Diner in Waldoboro was discriminated against by her boss for religious reasons, which resulted in a work environment that is hostile.
The commission also said you can find reasonable grounds to trust that M dyвЂ™s Diner retaliated against the employee, Allina Diaz, for asserting her rights underneath the Maine Human Rights Act, and that the ongoing company changed the terms and conditions of her employment because of its discrimination.
The ruling came after having a long hearing, attended by a lot more than two dozen M dyвЂ™s Diner workers and supervisors, several of whom wore M dyвЂ™s Diner clothing within an obvious show of solidarity because of the company and Dan Beck, a co-owner known as into the complaint while the source of discrimination against Diaz.
At one point, DiazвЂ™s attorney, Rebecca Webber, pointed towards the audience as she addressed the payment. Their presence alone had been evidence of the work that is hostile developed at M dyвЂ™s Diner, she said.
вЂњHere are her managers,вЂќ Webber said. вЂњShe needs to face them permitting her understand вЂThis is how we feel about in regards to you challenging the owners, challenging this business due to spiritual discrimination.вЂ™ These people wonвЂ™t talk to her even.вЂќ
Diaz spent some time working at M dyвЂ™s Diner since 2002, and she continues to get results there as being a host. A written report by Human Rights Commission investigator Michele Dion states that Beck began discriminating against Diaz in November 2012 due to his son to her relationship, Nathan Beck.
M dyвЂ™s Diner, represented by lawyer Robert Br ks, told commissioners that Dan BeckвЂ™s actions had been the result of DiazвЂ™s relationship that is personal his son, not as a result of variations in or discrimination considering faith.
Diaz and BeckвЂ™s son are not any longer in a relationship
Beck is really a devout Presbyterian, and within the report, Dion described several cases of Beck or his wife вЂ” who does maybe not just work at the restaurant вЂ” making disparaging responses to Diaz, including that she and Nathan Beck had been вЂњnot after JesusвЂќ by continuing their relationship, and that the elder Becks failed to support the relationship.
At A january 2013 dinner, dan beck and their wife вЂњstated that [nathan beck] would leave [diaz] when he returned to jesus, and that she required jesus in her life,вЂќ dion said in the report. вЂњTheir opinion was that [Beck] had to ch se from [Diaz] and God, because if he thought in Jesus, he would not be dating her.вЂќ
The conflict escalated in 2013, when Dan Beck asked both his son and Diaz to find employment elsewhere because he could not condone their lifestyle by continuing to employ them august.
Dion cited a recording of a conversation made by Nathan Beck, in which Dan Beck states that вЂњAllina has never produced profession of faith,вЂќ and вЂњby her life style вЂ” along with your lifestyle вЂ” you both display you donвЂ™t rely on Christ.вЂќ
Diaz refused to quit, and Beck never fired her. But, DionвЂ™s investigation found that following the August meeting, Diaz was at the mercy of frivolous action that is disciplinary incidents such as for instance tardiness and wearing the wrong f twear, which failed to spur such action for any other workers. The investigator additionally claimed that Beck began asking DiazвЂ™s co-workers to report any misbehavior.
Br ks said that BeckвЂ™s concern about their sonвЂ™s relationship came in the context of Nathan BeckвЂ™s troubled state that is mental 2012, which Dan BeckвЂ™s son confirmed on Monday.
вЂњThe issue is the concern the Becks had about their son stepping into an intimate relationship with a woman as heвЂ™s dealing with despair and other issues,вЂќ Br ks said.
Br ks argued that employersвЂ™ actions set off by issues over individual relationships are not instances of discrimination.
The father, was simply trying to preserve the relationship [with his son] as best he could,вЂќ Br ks saidвЂњAt the time, Mr. Beck. вЂњYou donвЂ™t have actually to concur with the option.вЂќ
Arnold Clark, the commissionвЂ™s chairman, challenged Br ksвЂ™ assertion that the commission should distinguish between your personal relationship between the Becks and Diaz and their work relationship. He described one event, by which Diaz had been summoned towards the BecksвЂ™ house to discuss remarks she made on Faceb k.
вЂњWhen she was called towards the house because of the Twitter post, she had been told that if she didnвЂ™t come to the house, she’dnвЂ™t be allowed to work once again. Is the fact that a work issue or a individual issue?вЂќ Clark stated. вЂњIf it is merely a personal issue, why did they talk about just work at all?вЂќ
As a consequence of the commissionвЂ™s findings, Diaz and M dyвЂ™s Diner will access conciliation hearings carried out by payment staff, where an endeavor to achieve a mutually acceptable settlement will be produced. If no settlement is reached, Diaz are going to be provided the light that is green register case against M dyвЂ™s Diner.