Aviva Drescher of Bravo's Real Housewives of New York City held a press conference this past Wednesday at the LGBT Community Center in NYC about a wrongful termination case against Jeffrey Villacampa by his former employer, Bayside Volkswagen of Queens.
Villacampa approached his boss about the use of anti-gay slurs in the work environment. During the course of the conversation, he told his boss the fact that he is HIV positive hindered his relationship with his brother. Two days after the conversation with his boss, Villacampa was unexpectedly fired without explanation.
"I can't even believe that I have to have this conversation in 2013," Villacampa expressed. "A conversation has to start, it has to stop with the fear and the hatred and the ignorance."
Villacampa explained that he never had any problems while employed as a finance manager at the business. He was a good, hard worker, and was successful at his job. He began his job at this location in November, 2012, but has been working in the auto industry for 20 years. There was no legitimate reason for his termination. The fact that he was HIV positive never hindered him in his work life. The firing of Villacampa under these conditions is discrimination.
The mistreatment of Villacampa is not going unnoticed. Star of Real Housewives of New York, Aviva Drescher, are speaking out about the case. Villacampa is suing for $4 million in the Supreme Court of the State of New York County. Being HIV positive requires extra medicine in order to stay healthy. Without employment, it would be extremely difficult to manage the medical burden HIV carries.
Aviva Drescher is the face of the National Equality Campaign "So Gay So What" as a part of the Shineout Music Festival which is "a celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and straight musicians and supporters coming together with pride and love to celebrate who we are with the music we create and the support we give to one another," Shineout states. Drescher and "So Gay So What" will be marching in support of LGBT equality in the New York City Pride Parade coming up on June 30th.
With the support of Drescher, her campaign, and the rest of the LGBT community, Villacampa can work towards getting the justice he deserves.
Watch Aviva Drescher speak during the Jeffrey Villacampa press conference: