Aramark, along with Kutztown University and several of its administrators, was sued by a former employee whom they fired after a naked photo of him was sent around his office. The man calls his firing a “profound deprivation of his constitutional rights.”
Scott Moyer, a gay man, began working for Aramark over ten years ago in Kutztown University’s department of Housing and Dining Services. In 2017 he was called into a meeting with his supervisors, who are named as defendants in this case. At said meeting he was told he was under investigation because a sexually explicit photo of him was sent around the office.
Moyer understood this to mean that he was under investigation for his “constitutionally protected activity/conduct,” the complaint states. Namely his “consensual homosexual/gay relationship.” It is not clear from the complaint how the photo of him was obtained. It is also not clear why it was sent around the office, but the sender is named as a John Doe defendant.
Moyer considers the reporting of said photo to have been both “outrageous and illegal,” and should have been prevented by Kutztown and its administration.
Regarding consensual relationships of any kind, Kutztown’s website states:
A personal, amorous or non-academic relationship may interfere with the faculty/student relationship and may violate standards of conduct expected of all faculty by the university. Personal, amorous or non-academic relationships should not be permitted to interfere with or compromise the academic integrity of the faculty/student relationship.
After a three-day investigation, Moyer was fired for violating company policy. Moyer says this was pretextual, and that he was actually fired because he is gay, and “fail[s] to meet the typical gender role associated with men,” the complaint states.
According to Aramark’s website:
Our goal is for each employee to feel as passionately about our company as we do about them. We want them to trust that we’ll work hard to enrich and nourish their lives. Therefore, we make sure to provide competitive wages and benefits, a safe, open work environment and lots of development opportunities, so that they’ll stay and continue to grow their careers with us.
Kutztown’s official policy states in regards to sexual harassment:
Sexual Harassment by an administrator, faculty member, staff or student will not be tolerated. The University will actively and expeditiously investigate any allegation of sexual harassment, and if it is determined that sexual harassment has occurred, the University will take appropriate disciplinary action. An employee found to have engaged in misconduct constituting sexual harassment will be disciplined. Disciplinary actions could include: verbal warning, written reprimand, a requirement to attend counseling or training, suspension, or dismissal.
Their diversity policy states:
Kutztown University is committed to creating an environment free of unlawful discrimination for all its employees and students. Accordingly, acts of discrimination based on an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status is prohibited.
Moyer now sues his former employer for multiple counts of sex discrimination and negligent supervision in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is represented by attorney Charles E. Dutko of Kutztown, PA, and seeks over $150,000 in damages.