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Porn shop internship costs Swedish man his job

Published: 08 Oct 2009 14:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Oct 2009 14:31 GMT+02:00

A man from Skellefteå in northern Sweden who lost his job as a personal care assistant because of a part-time internship at a local porn shop has accused his former employer of discrimination.

“I feel humiliated and hung out to dry as if I were a sex addict,” Niclas Nilsson told The Local.

Nilsson had enjoyed a satisfying six months of part-time work with Frösunda Assistans, a personal care assistant staffing agency.

“The best job I’d ever had,” he said.

But as Nilsson’s job wasn’t full time, the local public employment office (Arbetsförmedlingen) told him he needed to find something to do to fill out the rest of his work week.

Wanting to find something quickly that would fit into his erratic schedule as a personal care assistant, Nilsson inquired with Erotic Video, a local porn shop claiming to have “northern Sweden’s largest selection of erotic films and sex toys”.

“I knew they were short on staff there,” he said, explaining that he thought he had found the perfect solution to his employment dilemma.

Not long after Nilsson began working behind the counter at Erotic Video, his boss at the staffing agency caught wind of the porn shop internship.

“He didn’t think it was appropriate for me to be working there, so he cut my hours and took me out of the staffing rotation,” said Nilsson.

“I was disappointed and irritated,” he added, explaining that, up until that point, he had received encouraging signs that he would be able work full-time.

Instead he was told he was no longer suitable to work at Frösunda Assistans.

Nilsson doesn’t see the problem with splitting his time between caring for the elderly and collecting cash from people paying for pornography.

“There’s nothing inappropriate about it as long as I keep the two separate. It was just something on the side, and as long as I was doing my other job well, I don’t think it should matter what I do in my personal time,” he said.

The father of three said he considers his boss’s handling of the matter “very unprofessional”.

“And losing my job over it was just one more blow below the belt,” he said.

Nilsson has now filed a complaint with Sweden’s Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen – DO) alleging actions taken by his supervisor at Frösunda Assistans constitute discrimination.

“I'm out of work because of my internship and that’s wrong. My internship shouldn’t result in me losing my job,” Nilsson wrote in his complaint.

Calls by The Local to Frösunda Assistans for comment were not immediately returned.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:23 October 8, 2009 by eZee.se
Heck, even if he was making the worst (but legal) porn instead of just working in a shop that sells pornographic items he should not have been punished like that, i hope he wins a nice big settlement.
18:47 October 8, 2009 by Harding00
Even if Sweden's Equality Ombudsman find his former company in the wrong, he won't get much in compensation (that's just the way it is, people don't get much money from suing others). Perhaps they can force the company to rehire him (though I hardly doubt that), he probably wouldn't want to take that job back, because we all know they would make his life miserable.
01:23 October 9, 2009 by Captcha
"Nilsson doesn't see the problem with splitting his time between caring for the elderly and collecting cash from people paying for pornography".

The elderly in his care might see it differently. Some jobs just do not go together. He did not leave the personal care agency any other way to protect the company.
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