A North Carolina restaurant fired a waiter this week after he posted a customer’s receipt with a homophobic message scrawled on it.
On Sunday, the unnamed server posted a copy of a bill from November 30 on which a patron had written “Our gay waiter made me wanna throw up my food!”
“Ruined my experience [tonight],” it continued. “Will not be back!”
On Tuesday, Hickory Tavern confirmed to the Charlotte Observer it fired the server, but said it offered him his job back after learning he may not have been informed about the establishmen’ts customer confidentiality policy, which prohibits posting credit card receipts online.
“We strongly condemn the insults directed at one of our team members in remarks left by a patron on their credit card receipt,” Hickory Tavern said. “We value diversity and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation or for any other reason. We also value the privacy of our patrons, and posting of credit card receipts violates our confidentiality policy.”
“Although the team member was initially terminated for violating this policy, after further discussions with the team member, we made the decision to offer his job back. We strive to strike the right balance between supporting our team members and protecting the private information of our guests.”
The incident took place at the restaurant chain’s Wesley Chapel location, about 40 minutes outside Charlotte.
North Carolina has become a nexus point for the national debate on LGBT rights: The passage of an inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte sparked the passage of HB2 in 2016. Just this April, lawmakers sponsored a bill aimed at reinstating North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, in defiance of the Supreme Court mandating marriage equality on the federal level.