A Virginia-based former convenience store clerk claims he was fired from his job for being gay after being physically assaulted by a customer during an overnight shift.
Bradley Kindrick of Virginia Beach, Va. tells NBC affilate WAVY TV that he was "scared to death" after a customer pushed him against a wall and forcibly kissed him while on the job at a local 7-Eleven.
“I was scared that something was going to go further… that he was going to do something really bad to me,”
Kindrick, who says he's had anxiety attacks and nightmares since the incident, told the news station.
But Kindrick was in for a bigger shock when he was dismissed from his job after the encounter. He thinks it's because he's openly gay: "Because I am openly homosexual I think that they think maybe somebody would come in and do it again. I think that they made up a reason to let me go because they didn’t want stuff like that happening at that store, and they felt like if they kept me, something like that would happen."
The 7-Eleven store's management allegedly told Kindrick that he was fired for being drunk on the job. Kindrick, meanwhile, denies that he was drinking.
As Edge On The Net points out, the state of Virginia does not have any hate crimes protection or job protection on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity legislation in place.
Earlier this month, Applebee's employee Tim Phares was allegedly beaten with a 2-by-4-inch piece of wood over questions regarding his sexual orientation at a franchise in Rice Lake, Wisc.
He says he was then asked not to return to work because the incident had attracted too much negative publicity for the restaurant, though Applebee's has since denied this allegation.