Lush, a Minneapolis gay bar, celebrated Pride month by firing its entire staff in a Facebook announcement.
Like so many LGBT+ establishments, Lush suffered under COVID-19 forcing a business rethink.
Management took to Facebook and said, “When LUSH reopens it will be better than ever, with a redesigned concept, a new leadership structure, a reimagined entertainment program, and an enhanced commitment to diversity and equity. As part of this redesign, all positions across our organization will be re-hired in a transparent and equitable process.”
That came as a major surprise to bar employees, who, along with a number of patrons, expressed their outrage on the post.
“So you basically just fired all of your employees over a Facebook post?” said Derek Drake. “Wow… f*cking cowards. Clearly you aren’t learning anything from other businesses opening in the community – because plenty are reopening and it’s working just fine for them. Grow a set of balls and learn how to run a better business.”
“Wow what a total lack of class, firing your staff on a public Facebook post?” wrote Angie Brown. “Who thought this was a good idea? Shame on you.”
48 hours later, Ken Darling, co-owner of the bar, took to Facebook to express his own outrage and regret. “I’m not sure how widely this is known, but I am not an active owner of LUSH;” Darling wrote. “I am not involved in the operations of the business in any meaningful way and have been out of town until a few days ago.”
“I know that’s not an excuse and I am truly sorry,” Darling continued. “I was led to believe that the staff were on board with the need for a redesign, were fully aware that we would not be reopening anytime soon, knew that not everyone would be called back and understood that we were going to concentrate on building a more diverse staff. I, stupidly, thought this statement was to update the general public, affirming facts and plans that had already been communicated to our staff and performers….I failed to do all those things and for that I am deeply sorry. It was completely inappropriate for LUSH staff and performers to learn of such important developments via a Facebook post instead of being communicated with directly.”