US: South Dakota teen forced to wear nametag at work labelled “Gaytard”

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A gay teen, working in a fast food restaurant in South Dakota, recently quit his job after being forced to wear a nametag labelled with a homophobic slur.

Sixteen-year-old Tyler Brandt, who was working at a Taco John’s in Yankton, SD said that his manager insisted that he wear a nametag labelled “Gaytard”.

Brandt, who was concerned about being terminated from his position, said he wore the nametag but would hide behind the register so that the customers couldn’t see it.

He said: “I would always stay behind the till so they couldn’t see the nametag, I didn’t want them to see it, but even though they couldn’t see it, he [his manager] would still call me by the name across the store and customers would notice.”

The manager of this particular Taco John’s has refused to comment on the allegations.

A statement however, given to KELOLAND News from Taco John’s CEO, stated that they take reports of workplace discrimination very seriously and that they believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.

He said: “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.”

Brandt, who is considering legal actions, said that the manager had a history of verbal abuse towards him and believes treatment such as this is wrong.

He said: “I don’t think that anybody should have to put up with any kind of discrimination. It’s not fair.”

An interview with Brandt can be seen here.