By Michael Macleod
A DRIVING school boss called an office worker ‘gay boy’ and told him he was lucky to have a job because “not many companies employ gays”, a tribunal has heard.
Pro Scot boss John MacDonald also allegedly described employee Mark Rowan, 29, as ‘one of the girls’ on the company’s website.
Mr Rowan said that colleagues told him MacDonald had bragged about not having ‘poofs’ work at his company and claimed he would find a way to sack him.
And the panel at the Edinburgh employment tribunal heard that when budget cuts and job losses were announced, MacDonald was given the perfect opportunity.
Mr Rowan said: “The staff were all sickened but the general feeling was that I was the one going to be sacked. He would refer to me as ‘gayboy’ and told my colleagues he didn’t want ‘poofs’ working for his company.”
Staff walked out on MacDonald but the boss clashed with Mark in the car park before he could leave.
Mark said: “He made a beeline towards me and said if I didn’t go back into the office I wouldn’t have a job to go back to.
“But the office manager had already locked the doors and left, so I went home.
“The next day he locked all the staff into a room and asked why we had walked out on him. He said that I led the walk-out and that I was the leader. And he said he didn’t want to appear to be weak by keeping me on.”
After a week out of a job, Mark said he was invited back to work at Pro Scot, based in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on the condition that he apologised.
He added: “Mr MacDonald said that I should feel thankful to have a job back because there weren’t many companies that would employ gays.”
Mr Rowan said that after being reinstated he “felt the axe hanging over my head once more.”
He added: “I was so stressed I was losing sleep.”
The panel also heard how MacDonald published profiles on his company’s website about each member of staff and described Mark as “one of the girls in the office”.
Mark said the jibes left him stressed and too scared to confront his boss.
The company deny the allegations and claim Mr Rowan was given the boot after a series of late arrivals to work, although he insists this only happened twice.
Pro Scot also claim Mr Rowan was making mistakes on a daily basis and would have been sacked anyway.
They say he chatted to friends on his mobile and used social networking website Bebo throughout the day.
The hearing continues.