Darcy says he’s speaking out to draw attention to homophobia. Picture: Matt Turner
Darcy says he’s speaking out to draw attention to homophobia. Picture: Matt Turner

Worker sacked ‘because I’m gay‘

A gay man claims he was sacked days after telling managers at a billion-dollar car retailer he was taking medicine to prevent HIV.

He alleges a boss at AP Eagers told him not to try to "sleep with" a male client, that a co-worker said his voice was "too flamboyant to be around customers" and that another colleague said to him "I don't care if you're gay, just don't do it near me".

Nineteen-year-old Darcy, who does not want his surname made public, has made a complaint of sexual orientation and age discrimination against the nation's second-largest motor dealer group. It is currently before an employment tribunal after being referred by an equal opportunity commissioner.

Darcy claims his  boss   told him not to try to “sleep with” male clients. Picture: Matt Turner
Darcy claims his boss told him not to try to “sleep with” male clients. Picture: Matt Turner

Nineteen-year-old Darcy, who does not want his surname made public, has made a complaint of sexual orientation and age discrimination against the nation's second-largest motor dealer group. It is currently before an employment tribunal after being referred by an equal opportunity commissioner.

Darcy told News Corp Australia he was speaking out to bring attention to homophobia in the industry.

"I don't want to air my dirty laundry but what do I stand for if I say nothing," Darcy said.

Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, AP Eagers has a value of about $1.3 billion. It sells 240 cars every day and has more than 4000 employees nationally. Its biggest markets are Queensland, NSW and South Australia.

Darcy began working for one of its Adelaide-based businesses in April 2017, just after turning 18. His job was to arrange finance for car buyers.

"I felt I wasn't accepted and that the company didn't care for equality," Darcy said in his complaint, which is before the South Australian Employment Tribunal.

"The company never made an effort to fix their actions and only justified them by saying 'it's the industry we work in'."

Darcy says he’s speaking out to draw attention to homophobia. Picture: Matt Turner
Darcy says he’s speaking out to draw attention to homophobia. Picture: Matt Turner

Darcy told a psychiatrist assessing him as part of workers compensation claim that he was instructed to hike interest rates on loans "to 15 per cent and this increase was not made clear to the consumer".

The psychiatrist's report says Darcy found it "stressful" when five customers picked up on the rate change.

The psychiatrist diagnosed him as "suffering from an adjustment disorder with depressed and anxious mood" and that "his employment was the significant contributing cause".

The report references a statement by one of Darcy's managers that he "constantly refused to perform tasks as requested" and a statement by another saying Darcy "posted a parody video of a staff member falling down the stairs".

That manager's statement also said Darcy put "sexually explicit footage on his Facebook

Messenger page". Darcy had responded "I am over 18 years of age and it wasn't done in work time".

His workers compensation claim was accepted by Return to Work SA. He does not have HIV.

An AP Eagers spokesman, who asked to remain unnamed, said he could not respond to the specific accusations Darcy had made.

However the spokesman did say "it's been fully investigated and there is no evidence of any discrimination at all.

"The company has acted properly and followed all legal requirements.

"We haven't done anything wrong," the spokesman said.

"But because it's now going through the legal process it's really not appropriate to say anything further."



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