Mats Mügge was working on a temporary basis with Frilufts Förskolor in Täby, near Stockholm, and had been offered a further month’s work at the end of last year.
Just before Christmas the nursery’s HR manager told him they had changed their mind and did not want to renew his contract.
Parents with children attending the nursery had spotted a photo of him wearing a cap branded with the words ‘Pornstar’ and had complained.
“I had the hat on in the picture and you can see part of my arm where I have a tattoo,” Mügge told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.
“She said the photo wasn’t suitable for someone working in a pre-school and they didn’t want me to work there anymore.”
Mügge believes the manager made unjust insinuations, accusing him of being a paedophile.
He has now reported the nursery to the Equality Ombudsman, DO (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen).
“She didn’t say it outright,” he added. “But if you read between the lines you could understand what she meant.”
The nursery’s owner Peter Wallebo rejects the suggestion that management had any serious concerns about his former employee’s sexual disposition.
“We would never accuse Mats of anything like that,” he said. “We judged our decision solely on the fact that wearing a cap like that just isn’t suitable when working within childcare.”
Wallebo adds that he had no complaints about Mügge’s work performance. Challenged as to why the nursery simply didn’t ask him to remove the photo from the website, Wallebo said it was already too late.
“The damage had been done because parents had seen it,” he said. “It was a shame he put it up there in the first place.”