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Lawsuit claims M&M-Mars fired worker over her sexual orientation

Thursday, February 21, 2013

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against candy maker M&M-Mars, alleging she was fired because she is lesbian.

In the suit filed Feb. 6 in Warren County, N.J. Superior Court, Theresa Kwiecinski contends that she was fired in September 2011 from Mars’ Hackettstown plant after her co-workers learned of her sexual orientation.

Kwiecinski, who worked at the facility for about 10 years, said she noticed a difference in treatment, heralded by a complicated pregnancy, according to the lawsuit.

Kwiecinski alleges that conditions in her work environment deteriorated after a March 2011 week-long work conference in Florida. She said she was accompanied by her partner and their son, and that immediately afterward, she began to experience negativity directed at her in the workplace.

The Express-Times reported that Kwiecinski worked as a commercial manager for external manufacturing, and had received good performance reviews, although according to Kwiecinski’s lawsuit, in 2010, after Mars hired a new supervisor and Kwiecinski started having issues with her pregnancy, she was given reviews of “below expectations.”

After she was hospitalized a few times and unexpectedly needed to go on maternity leave, she was informed that her mid-year status was again “below expectations” for failing to prepare enough for her leave, according to the complaint.

Following her pregnancy complications and revelation of her sexual orientation, Kwiecinski alleges she was placed on a performance improvement plan that proved impossible, and which culminated in a wrongful termination.

Kwiecinski’s attorney, William Koy Jr. told the Express-Times, “The complaint speaks for itself. My client is very disturbed for how she was treated at Mars, and we look forward to her day in court.”

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20 more reader comments:

  1. OHH COME ON ENOUGH WITH THIS CRAP….NOW PEOPLE ARE JUST OUT OF CONTROL!!!! YES IM GAY….DAMN CRY WOLF MUCH?????????????? This is why we get bad names….uGGHHHH

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:41pm
  2. Couldn’t agree more Paul! Big companies like M&M do NOT discriminate. Yes, the individual Manager might, but they need to tread carefully if that’s the case.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:43pm
  3. I don’t buy it either. You can’t scream “cause im gay” everytime you get fired. What else led up to it!

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:45pm
  4. I’m going to have to say that personally MARS has lost most of their standing because this isn’t the first lawsuit about this..MARS just keeps trying to keep it quiet

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:46pm
  5. This is probably my favorite line: “After she was hospitalized a few times and unexpectedly needed to go on maternity leave, she was informed that her mid-year status was again “below expectations” for failing to prepare enough for her leave, according to the complaint”

    How do you properly prepare for an unexpected leave (of any kind)? It is…unexpected…

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:49pm
  6. Am I going to have to boycott Mars products? Ugh.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:50pm
  7. Some people just suck at their job.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:50pm
  8. Steven when it happens to you, which I hope it does, then we’ll see the reason why you were fired.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:50pm
  9. OH NO! This could lead to the boycott of M&Ms. I sure hope it doesn’t come to that. They have always been a favorite of mine.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:52pm
  10. OYCOTT M M

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:53pm
  11. Not against the law in Missouri…

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 12:58pm
  12. well i never liked M&ms anyway they taste like crap i’ll just buy vegan candy.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:05pm
  13. *Pup Equality McKeenan- He actually had a really good point.
    You hoping that he gets fired for a bullshit reason is like me hoping you get cancer for being a dumbass; it is just rude and wrong.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:06pm
  14. It’s obvious she was fired because of her Sexual Orientation. She worked there for 10 years with no problems, but immediately after discovering she was a Lesbian she starts to have problems that result in termination.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:12pm
  15. Bigotry at its best. Think about it if you worked at a place for 10 years without problems until you revealed your Sexual Orientation and then were fired how would you interpret that? The company has the issue not this innocent employee and I believe that she will win her case because she is the victim of obvious discrimination.

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:27pm
  16. If I did eat that candy, or any candy, I would boycott it

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:55pm
  17. Booo M& M’s .. .

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 2:27pm
  18. Lets not talk about boycott. Our boycott with Chik-Fil-A was a total flop and if we have another one like that the LGBT Community boycotting something will just be something shrugged off just like companies do when One Million Moms issues boycotts

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 4:17pm
  19. boycotting is like staying in your house because you might die on the way to work

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 4:29pm
  20. oops wrong move!

    Posted on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6:44pm