By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A newspaper reporter who was fired after another publication reported that she worked part-time as a stripper says she has filed a complaint against her former employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging sex discrimination.
Sarah Tressler, 30, was working as a society and general assignment reporter for the Houston Chronicle and was writing an anonymous blog entitled "Diary of an Angry Stripper" when the weekly Houston Press revealed her part-time profession in an article entitled "Society Writer by Day, Stripper by Night."
Tressler says that after the story came out earlier this year, she was fired by the Chronicle "because of a claim that I did not disclose on my employment application that I worked as an exotic dancer."
"There was no question on the form that covered my dancing," Tressler said in a statement issued on Thursday. "I answered the questions on the form honestly."
Tressler's attorney, Los Angeles celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, says her work as a "dancer" should not affect her ability to be an effective reporter for a major newspaper.
Allred says Tressler's firing was clearly "sexually discriminatory."
"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," Allred said in a statement.
Allred said Tressler was dancing at clubs as an independent contractor, not an employee, so she would not have had a reason to list dancing as prior employment on her job application.
In her blog, Tressler, who refers to herself as "Sarah," discusses things like the odd and disgusting behavior of strip club customers, "stripper terms" and other subjects.
"I had demonstrated that I was able to do my job as a reporter very well and I would have been happy to continue to do it had I not been terminated," Tressler said. She says she plans to continue her work in journalism.
The Chronicle, in an article about the complaint, said it "declined to comment."
(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan)
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