BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — A New Jersey waitress was out of a job on Saturday, weeks after her story of being denied a tip because of her sexual orientation brought an outpouring of sympathy and donations.
Dayna Morales’ employment was terminated after an internal investigation into allegations that she made up the story, Gallop Asian Bistro manager Bobby Vanderhoof told CNN.
“The results of that investigation are inconclusive as to exactly what happened between Ms. Morales and the customers that night. However, in light of the investigation and recent events, both Ms. Morales and Gallop Asian Bistro have made a joint decision that Ms. Morales will no longer continue her employment at our restaurant,” the restaurant posted on Facebook.
Dayna Morales, 22, a former Marine, first complained about the alleged incident on a “Have a Gay Day” Facebook page, posting a photo of a receipt that read, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle and how you live your life.”
The post went viral. Morales claimed the message was on a receipt for $93.55, for a meal ordered by a family of four at the restaurant in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
But then a report on television station NBC4 displayed a receipt from a family showing an $18 tip on a bill of $93.55, and a credit card statement with the same total value, $111.55, to back it up.
Facebook is on fire with hateful comments from people angered by the report.
Brian Cook wrote on the original Facebook post, “When you lie to make someone LOOK homophobic, you weaken your cause.”
Mia Frederiksen wrote, “Whatever the motive, it’s going to harm people who truly are discriminated against. The more this happens, the more the truly maligned will be ignored.”
Attempts by CNN to reach Morales for comment went unanswered.
After Morales’ story drew media attention, she and the restaurant received tips from “all over the world,” Morales told CNN in November. She and the restaurant said they planned to donate the money to the Wounded Warrior Project because Morales served in the Marine Corps for two years.
On the Facebook page, commenter Jeff Barrett wrote, “Wounded Warriors does not deserve to be associated with somebody who would cheapen the plight of both veterans and the LGBT community and slander an innocent family for money.”
The restaurant’s general manager, Byron Lapola, said the money that came in still will be donated.