The owner of an event company slashed a gay man's salary in half after comparing him to a woman then fired him two weeks later.
Wesley Wernecke started working for Eventique, which has Spotify, Amazon and Twitter as clients, on June 3, and a week into his new role he revealed in a meeting he was gay after he was asked about his "flashy" and "girly" wedding ring.
A colleague proceeded to ask "what does your wife's ring look like?".
Wernecke put his colleague right, explaining his partner, Evan, had a similar ring, according to court documents.
In the following weeks Wernecke's boss, Henry David, who was in the meeting at the time, started alienating him.
Wernecke was excluded from conferences, drinks with "the fellas" and from making new clients, documents revealed.
"David took all these tactics to exclude Wernecke because David had already made up his mind that, despite the proficiency of Wernecke's work, he would not accept having an openly gay man working in the office, and he intended to get rid of Wernecke," the court documents allege.
Then just months later while working at Eventique, David told Wernecke on September 20 his pay would be more than halved from US$145,000 ($226,000) to US$70,000 ($109,300).
According to court documents, David told Wernecke "I couldn't sleep at night thinking you were being paid so much more than the other females in the office".
"David's reference to Wernecke as one of the 'females in the office' was intended, again, to reinforce Wernecke's understanding that David considered Wernecke to be a sexual deviant and unfit to work at Eventique," the lawsuit charges.
Just weeks later he discovered his salary was lowered even further to US$58,000 ($90,500).
Two weeks after the salary cut, Wernecke was fired, with David saying he couldn't afford to keep him, citing "errors" and "deficiencies" in his performance.
His lawyer, Anthony Consiglio, said Wernecke was "aggressively" recruited for the role.
"About a week and a half after Wesley began work in the office the employer learned he is gay and then immediately began systematically shutting him out of the job.
"These acts cannot be reconciled with the liberal anti-discrimination positions written into law in New York City and State to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender people in their workplaces."
However, David has denied the "shocking" and "baseless" allegations.
"Mr David firmly stands by his longstanding reputation for fairness and professionalism. We expect that the facts will be revealed in due course," his lawyer said.