Gay Publix Employees Speak Out About Alleged Discrimination

Publix_Logo.jpg
Is Publix anti-gay? Two weeks ago, we reported that the LGBT community had taken issue with the supermarket chain over its lack of policies to protect gay employees. One activist called the company "shockingly conservative."

Publix denied the accusations. Meanwhile, supporters of the supermarket wrote New Times to argue that activists had "not a single piece of testimony from a Publix employee" to back their complaints. Since then, however, several gay Publix employees have written to tell us their stories of discrimination.

"Publix needs to get with the times," says one longtime, openly gay employee in North Palm Beach. "We need to be treated equally. And we're not."

See also: Publix Discriminates Against LGBT Employees, Gay Rights Activists Argue

The employee, who we'll call Tom, asked us not to use his real name because he feared losing his job.

Tom says he began working at Publix in the 1970s but left after four years: "I quit when I was cheated out of a management position twice because I was gay." He says his superior told him flat-out that he had been passed over for the job because of his "lifestyle."

Tom later returned to the supermarket out of financial need and has worked there ever since -- never becoming a manager.

Several years ago, his partner of 33 years passed away. But when he asked for paid bereavement leave, he was told he wasn't eligible.

"They denied me bereavement pay," he says. "They said it wasn't a law in the state of Florida that we could be married, so I couldn't get bereavement leave."

"That's flat out discrimination," he says. "It wasn't the money that I needed. It was the principle of the thing."

He says the snub was particularly galling because other, straight Publix employees have been married and divorced many times but still receive bereavement pay when a loved one passes away. Yet his relationship wasn't recognized.

"They're a bunch of hypocrites," he says of his higherups.

My Voice Nation Help
50 comments
Fernando Buch
Fernando Buch

Nice little consumerist chicken coming out to roost. I dont think this warrants a boycott, walmart the alternative is worst, but to think any company is "your friend" and they care about you at all Is asinine. Fuck them. Where shopping is a pleasure? Lol yeah, I must have missed the hand job aisle

miamimilk
miamimilk

Maybe companies should stop hiring LGBT because of the risk of lawsuit. seems everyone is getting sued by Lesbians, Gays, Bi's & Transvestites. 

Carl Snyder
Carl Snyder

Give me a break.....sorry, I am going to continue to shop there....

Anthony Latour
Anthony Latour

That's bullshit! I've been a loyal Publix manager for a while, and straight up that shit doesn't happen! I've worked in stores in key west, Miami beach, gables, and that never, ever has been a problem! I love PUBLIX!!!

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

Plenty of truth in it I use to work there. Young heterosexual cashiers sleeping with older married male managers and district managers, was tolerated. Gay friends couples I knew were transferred around, separated , and held back from promotions. This was 13 years ago, think it would have changed with times.

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

You posted this last Friday, is this the new thing, reposting old posts?

Eddy Gugliotta
Eddy Gugliotta

FALSE!!!! I am a faithful customer of at least 3 branches in Miami, and they not only do not discriminate, they embrace all kind of handicapped youngsters and even old people... all colors, races, nationalities and sexual preferences.

Emmett Conrecode
Emmett Conrecode

What no offensive notes written on receipts to PROVE their point? :-(

Isabel Castell Soto
Isabel Castell Soto

I love Publix, I hope that this gets cleared up. I am a firm believer that everyone has a right to the pursuit of happiness regardless of your sexual orientation and I am all for freedom of marriage with equal rights for EVERYONE.

Christopher Blanco
Christopher Blanco

Meh, won't stop me from shopping there. Who cares? Everyone has a fucking axe to grind these days.

Isaias 'izzy' Rivero
Isaias 'izzy' Rivero

Yea, one person starts a lawsuit against Publix for discrimination and now everyone is "gay". Everyone wants in on the money.

Al Newman
Al Newman

Fuck this faggot!! Publix is a great place to shop. I never complaint about them, they always take care of my business as a cudtomer for 20 years.

Brandon Berretta
Brandon Berretta

Better working right for all, sorry Publix you better change your policies or this gay is shopping elsewhere! Ps. The above comments are comical. I hear WholeFoods and TraderJoes are hiring and give great domestic partner benefits.

Chris Schaaff
Chris Schaaff

If anything boycott Walmart. 30 registers and only 3 open. Plus it's full of fucked up Haitians and it takes forever just to get out. Just being honest...

Kenneth Carrera
Kenneth Carrera

Publix is one of the best places to work in this black hole of jobs called south florida.

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

love Publix won't stop shopping over stupid allegations

Chris Schaaff
Chris Schaaff

Fuck that shit man, I love Publix. Best subs and everyone is nice to me

Alexander Fernandez
Alexander Fernandez

I always thought the bag boys were being bullied by the cashiers. For shame!

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

This story reminds me of the hate for WalMart and how much better Target pays labor ? Then a report came out and WalMart actually pays it's labor more ? "According to data provided by IBISWorld, an independent market research group, sales associates or cashiers at Target, Kmart, Barnes and Noble , Kohl’s and BJ’s Wholesale Club all make less on average than a Wal-Mart associate. At Target, according to IBISWorld, a cashier makes $7.96 an hour on average, while a Kmart cashier makes $7.59. On average, a Wal-Mart associate, according to IBISWorld, makes $8.81 an hour. (Wal-Mart’s New York City Web site contends a full-time associate makes $13.09 per hour)." http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart_worse_other_big_box_chains/

Alex Prieto
Alex Prieto

Considering that Gay People LOVE and Support Publix products and their entire shopping aesthetic they need to GET WITH IT and realize who their shoppers actually are.

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

D. Who the fuck cares? so we're suppose to put down what we're doing to listen to this clusterfuck complain about being mistreated? do you know how many people are mistreated at their jobs everyday? I'm surprised their isn't a tumblr out on this shit.

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

C. I'm tired of listening to this shit, we all get bullied DEAL I'm a straight female and I've had to go through A LOT of shit at my last job IT'S LIFE people.

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

B. No one has barked at Starbucks for talking shit about almost everyone under the sun that does not agree with their policies

Cary Jorge
Cary Jorge

A. "They denied me bereavement pay," he says. "They said it wasn't a law in the state of Florida that we could be married, so I couldn't get bereavement leave." - Publix has this right.

Carlos Rosario
Carlos Rosario

I gay friend of mine always says that gays are their own worst enemy......!

Carlos Rosario
Carlos Rosario

Michele Lacret if you want to go that way we can, the word is Spic or Latino that doest mean anything to me since I'm a Spaniard you need to look that up baby.

Carlos Rosario
Carlos Rosario

Andrea Núñez I always thought we are all equal, but they want to be "special" that would be a little too much to ask

Mike Worley
Mike Worley

Oh, such great journalism on the part of the Miami New Times. Publix is anti-gay because an anonymous employee wasn't promoted to a managerial position over 40 years ago??? Really, is this your story?

Annette La Ley-Ley
Annette La Ley-Ley

Gays aren't the only ones being discriminated. So are women and Hispanics.

Vanessa Phelps
Vanessa Phelps

No problem at the Publix I use to work for they have plenty of gay people working there. I mean Just about anyone these days can say they are being discriminated. I'm experiencing reverse discrimination.

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

I don't like "openly" anything. Openly macho, openly gun freak, openly gothic, openly slutty, let's keep these things where they belong, out of my face.

Marco Viteri
Marco Viteri

He should work for Whole Foods. They have nothing but gay people there.

Eddy Gugliotta
Eddy Gugliotta

I am a solid Publix customer, and I've seen gays, Latinos, Afro-Americans, Chinese, Hindus... autistic kids, old folks, etc... this is a BS news. Au Contraire, they hire a very mixed group of employees, and they seem to be very happy and satisfied

Andrea Nuñez
Andrea Nuñez

@carlosrosario, because striving to be treated as equals is somehow a "special" privilege??

Michele Lacret
Michele Lacret

Carlos Rosario , you left out the latinos.You know, what the whites calls the big S word

Exiliado
Exiliado

Hilarious!!


I happen to be the one who pointed out the lack of evidence or testimonies. Now you come back with ONE testimony of some anonymous "Tom" who was denied a promotion during the 1970's. Your other piece of (not) evidence is a letter sent to some blogger. You've got to be kidding.


Publix has more than 158,000 employees. You are going to have to do better than that MNT. If you have proof that Publix is breaking state or federal law, don't be shy and provide it.


I call this story B.S. 

Again.


Ace Greene
Ace Greene

He edited that stupid comment and it still wouldn't get a 3rd-grade A.

Stephen Stephan
Stephen Stephan

This is so disturbing. I will write yet another letter to them. #shameful

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

Loading...