Monday 4 September 2023

Best Buy Employee Says Tech Company Fired Him After He Exposed Alleged Religious Discrimination, LGBTQ Preference

 Giant tech company Best Buy allegedly fired an employee after audio-recorded conversations at a Florida location between the worker and a manager revealed potential religious discrimination in the workplace while promoting preference for the LGBTQ community.

“My family fled religious persecution in Serbia so I could live my life as a Christian without being persecuted for my beliefs — yet that is exactly what is happening,” Enis Sujak, a former Best Buy employee and Geek Squad member, wrote on a GiveSendGo page. “On September 1, 2023, Best Buy terminated my employment because I stood firm against workplace discrimination based on my religion and I exercised my right to be a Christian.”

Sujak, a Serbian immigrant living in Jacksonville, Florida, recently exposed the recorded conversation with his manager to investigative journalist James O’Keefe for his O’Keefe Media Group.

During the conversation, Sujak asked his manager, Mike Hirsch, why LGBTQ flags are appropriate in the office, but Christian crosses were prohibited after he walked out of an employee session about the history of the LGBTQ Community in the workspace given by a “well-being” ambassador.

“Let’s have the cross all over the hub … why don’t we have Christian stuff all over?” Sujak said

“They’re not the same [as pride flags],” Hirsch allegedly replied, adding, “You are choosing to believe in Christianity … they [LGBTQ community] don’t choose it.”

Sujak told O’Keefe he had a long conversation with his manager about work-appropriate symbols.

“It was like an hour and 30 minutes of he and I just going back and forth with him telling me that it was work appropriate to have all this LGBTQ stuff that’s going on in the office and everywhere else,” Sujak said. “But it’s not okay for me to, you know, be a Christian myself and have a Bible right over there — that’s right there at the office — or have a cross or a Koran or anything like that.

“That’s not work-appropriate,” he added. “But you know, having LGBTQ pride flag everywhere else. That is work-appropriate, and I wasn’t standing for that.”

The company’s website says it’s committed to an Equal Employment Opportunity policy.

“Best Buy will not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, military or veteran status, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances,” the statement reads. “Our management is dedicated to ensuring the fulfillment of this policy. When necessary, we will reasonably accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities and with religious requirements necessitating accommodation.”

Sujak said on his GiveSendGo page that he retained constitutional attorney Mike Yoder and plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against Best Buy for allegedly violating his right to be free from workplace discrimination based on religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

“In no way have I ever argued that anyone who differs in religion, gender, or sex should be treated differently; rather, all I wanted was to be treated the same as them, and have my beliefs respected equally,” Sujak wrote.

Sujak marks the second Best Buy whistleblower to approach O’Keefe Media Group about alleged discrimination in the workplace. According to the investigative outlet, a memo from the retail giant revealed the retail tech giant created a program last year that is only available to employees who “identify as Black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander.”

“The program is not open to white applicants,” O’Keefe said.

Best Buy has not issued a statement involving either employee.

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