Last week the news broke that Ashlie Simpson, a former student advisor at a Christian college, was allegedly fired for living with her boyfriend before marriage and befriending a married co-worker. This week Sarah Tressler, a former Houston Chronicle reporter, filed a discrimination complaint against the paper, claiming she was dismissed because she failed to report she had worked as an exotic dancer. Tressler states that she answered all her employment paperwork truthfully, and that none of the questions asked required that she disclose the information. And then there is the case of Stacie Halas, the seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher fired by Oxnard School District trustees for performing in a porn video before she was hired as a teacher. All of which begs the question, how much information do our employers have the right to know about our past and current lives, and when is it ethical to use such information to make firing decisions?
How much does your employer know about your past, and where do you think the line should be drawn when it comes to employee privacy? Have you been let go or discriminated against for undisclosed information from your past? Do you feel that jobs in the sex industry should prohibit you from working in the schools?
Gloria Allred, lawyer at Allred, Maroko & Goldberg; she is representing Sarah Tressler, who is suing for gender discrimination
Sarah Tressler, former Houston Chronicle reporter who filed a federal gender discrimination complaint because she claims she was fired for neglecting to tell her employer she worked as an exotic dancer
Dan Stormer, civil rights and employment lawyer, at Hadsell, Stormer, Keeny, Richardson and Renick in Pasadena