Broward News

Food Server Fired for Being Too Flamboyant?

"He applied as Scott," Tiffany says. "He was hired as Scott. Everything was Scott. Then as soon as he started, he wanted to go by a different name. We asked him not to introduce himself to guests as Alexis. We didn't want guests to feel awkward."

Asked if Alexis was fired for being too flamboyant, she says, "It wasn't just that at all. We're trying to weed out the bad seeds right now. It wasn't a personal bash against him. We're just trying to get rid of the immoral people working at the restaurant." She says the termination was a result of several disciplinary warnings that included lying to customers -- who later complained to the corporate suits at Outback Steakhouses Inc., Carrabba's parent company.

Alexis says that she had only been spoken to about one other incident, several weeks ago, and that it never came up again. "Some people complained. This is Boca," she says. "People will complain if a raindrop falls in the wrong place."

Still, Alexis says that she averaged about $100 per five-hour shift and that during the last shift -- about which there was the alleged complaint -- she made $155. "I made 20-percent-plus tips on every table. It was the best night I'd had since Mother's Day. If they were so upset, why did they tip me so well?"

This all came as a surprise to Alexis, who has since written to every media outlet in South Florida, a few national publications, and some lawyers. "[Carrabba's] knew who I was when they hired me. I'm a character and I ham it up, and they always liked the personality."

With tourist season over and the job market slim, Alexis is worried. But she's still more outraged than worried. "You shouldn't ever fire someone because of their sexual identity," she says. "Especially in South Florida!"

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Michael J. Mooney