Taco John's Employee Claims Boss Forced Him to Wear "Gaytard" Nametag

Illustration for article titled Taco John's Employee Claims Boss Forced Him to Wear "Gaytard" Nametag

A 16-year-old former Taco John's employee in Yankton, South Dakota, is claiming that his former boss forced him to wear a nametag with kind of a spectacularly offensive slur.


Tyler Brandt, an openly gay teenager, claims his manager, John Scott, forced him to wear a nametag emblazoned with "♡GAYTARD♡," because why be offensive to one group when you can show your ass to two birds with one stone? He claims that he was made to wear it in front of customers for an entire shift, then when he hung out behind the register (so that people couldn't see it), Scott actually called him "hey, gaytard" from across the restaurant in a loud voice. Brandt also claims that Scott asked for the nametag back when Brandt informed him he was quitting, which Brandt smartly refused to give him.

Doubtless, many of you will shout "FAKE," because that's where we are as a society. The interesting thing here, though, is that we know for a fact Brandt wore that nametag. See, Scott doesn't actually dispute that Brandt wore it. Instead, Scott says Brandt chose the nickname for himself as a joke — which, to be fair, is eminently believable, since 16-year-old boys are frequently complete dipshits (hey, I know I was).

Brandt's reaction to this, however, seems to indicate otherwise. When asked if he'd chosen the nickname himself, he gave a response that is frankly way more mature than most of us would come up with at his age: "Do you really think I'd want to go around making a mockery of who I am?"

Besides, even if what Scott is saying is 100% true, he still let one of his employees wear a nametag that said "Gaytard" on it. I'm pretty sure not IMMEDIATELY saying "dude, you can't put that on a damn nametag, come on" is going to at the very least justifiably cost Scott his job, especially considering that Taco John's CEO John Leland's reaction was pretty succinct:

"At Taco John's, we believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. We take any accusation of workplace harassment very seriously. The type of discrimination that reportedly took place recently in the Yankton, South Dakota restaurant is deplorable. Such actions will not be tolerated by our company. Taco John's is committed to doing all we can to make certain nothing like this happens again in any of our restaurants."

Translation: good luck holding onto your job, you raging douchebag.

Brandt and his family, meanwhile, are already seeking the services of an employment-discrimination attorney. If his version of events is true (and I'm inclined to believe it is), good for him.


Rebecca "Burt" Rose

NOOOOO NOT TACO JOHN'S!!! Don't soil the name of such a fine taco institution, jerk manager!