PGA Tour Accused of Bias in Firing Gay Worker


• Worker says he moved cross-country for job
• Alleges manager made anti-gay comments


The Professional Golfers’ Association Tour is accused of wrongfully firing a gay employee after months of denying him paid breaks and adequate compensation.

Ryan Lebeuf says he accepted a job with the PGA and moved from Florida to California to work on the Ellie Mae Classic, one of the tournaments on the association’s Web.com tour. He was forced to work 60 hour workweeks in a cubicle in the staff kitchen, according to his complaint. Lebeuf’s supervisor made derogatory comments about gay people and gay dating apps before firing him, the complaint says.

Federal appeals courts are split on whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. California law protects workers from such discrimination.

Lebeuf originally filed his lawsuit in Alameda Superior Court and claimed 15 causes of action, including discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation and his attention disorder, failure to accommodate, retaliation, wrongful termination, fraudulent inducement to move, and failure to pay overtime and to provide paid breaks.

The PGA denied the allegations and liability. It refiled the case in federal court April 18.

JML Law APLC in Woodland Hills, Calif., is representing Lebeuf. Jackson Lewis PC is representing the PGA. Bloomberg Law’s requests for comment weren’t immediately returned by the parties.

The case is Lebeuf v. PGA Tour, Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 4:18-cv-02303, case removed 4/17/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Porter Wells in Washington at pwells@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Terence Hyland at thyland@bloomberglaw.com