Did “Gay Content” Lead To A Grand Rapids Woman Being Fired?
They say you have to be careful what you post online because the internet is forever.
Businesses are taking a deeper look at what their employees are posting online and in some cases when the company finds the content inappropriate they can let the employee go. A West Michigan woman says she was fired for posting "Gay Content" on social media.
Was Alyssa Knapp Fired For Posting Gay Content On Social Media?
Alyssa Knapp who is a professional makeup artist and licensed esthetician for the past 13 years said that "Gay Content" posted on her business's social media led to her being fired from her job at Jonas Paul Eyewear.
I was hired by Jonas Paul Eyewear and had a great first day of work. Got a message from my boss at like 8pm saying that we should touch base first thing this morning.
I walk in on time, wave to my boss, and put my drinks in the communal fridge. She then leads me to a conference room where the HR lady is waiting. I sit down and they tell me that they found “sexually explicit” photos on my social media and I was fired effective immediately. Not my personal IG, but my professional makeup artist IG page.
Yes, there are “boudoir” photos on there, it’s part of my job as a Professional Makeup Artist. But none of it is in bad taste. And the only stuff that is fully in the boudoir category are photos of my gay male friends in makeup and lingerie. It also lists me as a queer person as well. Hmmm.
What Do The Pictures In Question Look Like?
Below are several Instragram posts that include "Gay Content" & "LGBTQ+".
Alyssa Knapp Says This Is Why She Was Fired
Alyssa left another comment on the Reddit threat that said:
They said it was because they are a kid's company and it didn’t reflect well on the brand.Why didn’t they look at my socials BEFORE they hired me? Why not ask me to make my account private or edit the offending photos? Why do they think their clients would Google me? It was for a low position and literally, no one knew I worked there except my family and a few friends
What Does Jonas Paul Eyewear Have To Say?
I've reached out to Jonas Paul Eyewear for commended and this is what they said.
"Jonas Paul Eyewear is a children’s focused eyewear brand that has helped kids and teens feel confident in their glasses for nearly 10 years. We are proud to employ an incredible team that believes in equal opportunity for all and do not discriminate against anyone based on their race, religion or sexual orientation. Any insinuation that a personnel decision was made based on someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is completely false. As this is a personnel matter, we are unable to comment further."
Was Alyssa Knapp Unfairly Fired From Jonas Paul Eyewear?
A person claiming to be an unemployment lawyer said.
Your termination may have been unlawful. If it was, it would be because you'd be able to prove one of two things: (i) you were terminated for taking and displaying these photos when a female employee would not have been so terminated; or (ii) you were terminated because the employer assumed based on the existence of these photos that you were homosexual or transsexual, each of which are protected characteristics under federal law.
Your case is not cut and dry, however, for a variety of reasons. You need a lawyer, not the internet.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you should know most plaintiffs' attorneys work contingency. But in any event the first step in this process is actually free: you can go to the EEOC and file a charge (this will be an administrative prerequisite prior to filing a federal lawsuit anyway) against your former employer. This may result in a settlement, it may result in the employer digging in and fighting it. The latter is much more likely, though, and you're likely only to receive a Right to Sue letter at the end of this process, which will then require you to... get an attorney before you take a reasonable shot at court. - allday_andrew via Reddit
People In West Michigan Fired For Social Media Posts
one person shared about a former coworker that got fired for what they posted on social media.
I worked at a corporate company and a guy was fired for his bodybuilding photos (him in a Speedo) on his social media. West Michigan is ultra conservative, and US is weird about nudity/body sharing in general Sorry Op - hankypanky87 via Reddit
What's Next For Alyssa?
I reached out to Alyssa to see if she had anything else to say about this matter.
I'm really just trying to move on and put it past me and I'm busy looking for employment at a place that fits me better.