Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

July 10, 2017

TV news in Australia: Women were fired for being in a poly family, they say, and plan lawsuit.

TV 9 News (Australia)

In most places, most employers can usually fire you for no reason or any reason except for certain specific classes of reasons: race, sex, religion, etc., or perhaps mistreatment. "Relationship structure" is not a protected class. (The one exception I know is the Unitarian Universalist Church in the US, which voluntarily added this nondiscrimination class during a General Assembly of its members.)

The following report appeared today on TV 9 News in Australia. The women have gone public and are fighting back, claiming mistreatment at work.

Polyamorous love life behind double servo sacking, women claim

Andrea, Michael and Laura

By a Current Affair

Two women who live in a polyamorous trio with a male partner claim their unorthodox love life saw them fired by their employer.

Laura and Andrea both worked at the same independently-owned BP service station west of Melbourne.

Laura was already married to her husband Michael, but a relationship began to blossom between her and Andrea during their shared night shifts.

"We used to hang out a lot, go to the movies, stay home and watch TV, and we became really good friends and things just progressed," Laura said.

Michael also became an active part of the relationship.

"I'm loved by two ladies, how good is that," he said.

"And it's just a normal family, seriously."

However, Laura and Andrea allege that after they were caught talking on the service station's CCTV one night, they were split up and banned from working together or even speaking to one another.

Andrea claimed she was told during a shift to not talk about her sexuality because it was making a co-worker uncomfortable.

A spokesperson for the service station denied the accusations. They said nobody had been sacked and they were not even aware of the women’s sexuality until very recently.

Laura, Andrea and Michael are now pursuing legal action.

The service station released a statement to A Current Affair rejecting "outright" that they made any employment decisions "on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual preference".

"We are an inclusive employer and take very seriously our responsibility to provide a safe workplace for our staff."

BP Australia also released a statement saying they took the claims seriously and were looking into the matter.

"BP actively supports diversity and inclusion in the workplace," a spokesperson said.

The service station in question is independently owned and operated, meaning the owners are not franchisees and are responsible for their own operations including the hiring and managing of staff.

The original (July 10, 2017).

That's just a part of the long, sympathetic story that appeared on TV. The link includes the video report, nearly six minutes long. It's viewable worldwide (though not embeddable here).

I say that this family has a already won polyfolks a victory, regardless of how their case turns out. After seeing this kind of coverage on television, any Australian employer will think twice about the possible repercussions if they treat polyfolks like that.

Say it out loud, we're poly and proud.

Update next day: Now it's in the Murdoch chain of Australian newspapers: Women accuse employer of discrimination after over their polyamorous relationship (July 11).


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