Former Houston Chronicle journalist Sarah Tressler, who was fired after her stripper past came to light, is suing her former employer and claiming her dismissal was due to gender discrimination.
Tressler, 30, was fired from the Houston Chronicle for not disclosing her part time stripper gig on her job application.
I was very upset that I was fired because I had been told by many editors I was doing a good job, she said at a press conference with her lawyer Gloria Allred according to the New York Daily News. There was no question on the form that covered my dancing and I answered the questions on the form honestly.
Tressler believes the true reason for her dismissal was on account of my gender, she said to the Daily Mail.
Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred said that most exotic dancers are female, and therefore to terminate an employee because they had previously been an exotic dancer would have an adverse impact on women, since it is a female-dominated occupation.
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Tressler said she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC has not confirmed whether or not they received the complaint. The Houston Chronicle declined to comment.
Tressler was hired as a Society Reporter for the Houston Chronicle in January. She covered high society, general assignments, human interest stories, and fashion, reported the Daily Mail. She previously worked for Us Weekly and Gloss magazine.
Tressler moonlighted as a stripper at night, working at local men's clubs in Houston.
Tressler wrote about her exploits as a stripper on the blog Diary of An Angry Stripper. The Houston Press, a rival newspaper, found out about Tressler's exotic dancing at local men's clubs and published an expose on her background. She was fired in March.
Allred defended her client at the press conference Thursday, saying Tressler only occasionally worked as an exotic dancer and that she did not need to disclose her stripping on her resume because she never worked at a club full time, reported the New York Daily News.
Sarah's work as a dancer is lawful and is not a crime, Allred said in a statement. It does not, has not and will not affect her ability to perform her job as a journalist.
When she danced, she did so as an independent contractor and she was never an employee of any club. Therefore when she was asked by the Houston Chronicle about her prior employment, she did not list dancing since she was not an employee of any clubs, said Allred according to CNN.
Tressler said she sometimes danced on stage for a few hours to get a workout since she didn't have a gym membership.
Sometimes I would just go in for three hours at a time to get a workout in because stage rotation, if you're doing it in 7-inch heels, is a really good way to get a workout in, Tressler said to CNN. And I didn't have a gym membership. So, on days off I might just go in there in the afternoon and do a couple stage rotations and knock it out.
According to her website, Tressler is publishing a book entitled 'Diary of an Angry Stripper. An app that features pictures, video, and her stripper workout is also in the works under the same name. She also has a new writing job in Houston for another publication.
Tressler, who has a master's degree in journalism from New York University, has been dancing on and off since she was 22. She said she turned to stripping to pay for college. She continued with her part-time stripping gig to help pay the bills.
Some young women will use dancing as a way to make ends meet while they study to prepare for the career that they hope to be able to have for the rest of their lives, Tressler said to CNN. These women should not have to live in fear that once they acquire a position in the career that they have worked hard to achieve, that their past work experience as a dancer will jeopardize that position.