A lesbian has filed a discrimination complaint against the Washington, D.C. Burger King where she works, alleging that her manager repeatedly harassed her due to her sexual orientation and caused her to have severe anxiety and even attempt suicide.
The Washington Blade reports that Ingrid, who did not want her last name published, said after finding out she was gay, her manager approached her from behind multiple times after she worked with a female customer and whispered, “Do you like that woman?” into her ear.
Ingrid also said in the complaint that she repeatedly asked the manager to stop bothering her, but she would not.
At one point, the manager approached Ingrid in front of a group of male construction workers and asked her who “the man” was in her relationship with her girlfriend.
“I felt so ashamed because they started to laugh and I didn’t feel comfortable,” said Ingrid in the complaint. “I told her that I didn’t feel comfortable and she didn’t say anything.”
Ingrid, 19, filed her complaint with the D.C. office of Human Rights on December 23 after she said no action was taken when she filed both a written and verbal complaint with the Burger King store manager and district manager.
Ingrid said her manager began to mistreat her even more after she issued these repeated complaints, yelling at her in front of other employees.
According to Ingrid, the district manager at first assured her the two would not have to work together anymore, but that quickly changed.
In her complaint, Ingrid wrote that the district manager said to her on December 21: “You are going to work with her, okay. You are not going to open the cashier register without her permission” and “you need to obey her in everything that she says to you immediately after.”
The district manager also cut down the number of hours Ingrid worked.
It got so bad, Ingrid said, that she tried to end her life. She then took out a restraining order against the manager — though a judge dismissed it — as she began to suffer severe anxiety attacks.
Ingrid is still working at the Burger King. She said that she filed the complaint so no other LGBTQ people would have to experience this kind of harassment in the future. “I don’t want someone else to get anxiety or depression because of this,” she said.
Burger King received a 100 percent score on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, released by the Human Rights Campaign.