An Applebee’s restaurant in Rice Lake, Wisconsin has agreed to keep on a gay server who resigned after he was threatened with a firing over “bad publicity” from an incident in which the server was beaten with a two-by-four piece of lumber by the husband of another employee. According to LGBT newspaper The Wisconsin Gazette, Apple American Group CEO Greg Flynn intervened on behalf of the employee, overruling the management of the Rice Lake franchise. According to the Gazette, Timothy Phares was told not to return to work by restaurant management after Phares was savagely attacked by Rien Hendricks, the husband of fellow server Shannon Hendricks on March 17. The manager told Phares that there had been too much “bad publicity” around the incident that they did not want associated with the restaurant. Phares had been previously threatened with a write-up over a run-in with customers who hurled anti-gay epithets, at which point he handed in his two weeks’ notice, a decision he later reversed.
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