Sarah Tressler, a 30-year-old former Houston Chronicle society and general assignment reporter, has filed a complaint alleging she was fired because of sex discrimination. Tressler was terminated because she failed to tell her employer that she has worked as an exotic dancer.
Tressler was fired from the newspaper in March because she did not write on her application that she had worked as a stripper. “I was very upset that I was fired because I had been told by many editors that I was doing a good job… There was no question on the form that covered my dancing. I answered the questions on the form honestly,” says Tressler.
Tressler’s history of exotic dancing was found out through her anonymous blog, entitled “Diary of an Angry Stripper,” which chronicled her life dancing at local men’s clubs. Her blog talks about the disgusting behavior of strip club customers, stripper lingo, and various other subjects. The Houston Press exposed her in an article called “Society Writer by Day, Stripper by Night.”
Tressler filed her discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a Los Angeles news conference with her celebrity attorney, Gloria Allred.
The Houston Chronicle declined to comment on the suit.
Tressler alleges in her EEOC complaint that she was fired “because my prior activity as an adult dancer was not disclosed when I applied for the job. I believe that the stated reason for my termination was pretextual in that I answered the questions that were put to me truthfully in connection with my application for employment. The true reason for my termination was discrimination on account of my gender.”
Tressler’s attorney, Allred said that after Tressler was hired by the newspaper, she seldomly worked as an exotic dancer and was not an employee of any club but only worked as an independent contractor. Since she was not an employee, she did not need to list her dancing on her application when she applied to the Houston Chronicle.
“Sarah’s work as a dancer is lawful and is not a crime,” said Allred. “It does not, has not and will not affect her ability to perform her job as a journalist.” Allred says Tressler’s termination was clearly “sexually discriminatory.” “Most exotic dancers are female, and therefore to terminate an employee because they had previously been an exotic dancer would have an adverse impact on women, since it is a female dominated occupation.”