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Gay waitress loses job, accused of forging offensive note on tip

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After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, seen at the left, a local family said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note, as seen on the right. (Photo: Facebook / Have a Gay Day)

After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, seen at the left, a local family said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note, as seen on the right. (Photo: Facebook / Have a Gay Day)

After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, seen at the left, a local family said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn’t write any such note, as seen on the right. (Photo: Facebook / Have a Gay Day)

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 sorrybut 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.

That portion of Morales life has also come into question after this incident, as NBC4 has also reported that Morales was dishonorably discharged from the Marines. The Pentagon has since confirmed those reports, saying Morales was dismissed after she stopped showing up for required drills.

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.

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10 comments

  • ean12967

    It’s people like this that hold back equal rights for the LGBT community. I hope she learns from this and moves on to better her life.

  • science girl

    She did slander the family. No, she didn’t name names so not a legal matter, but she still slandered them. Certainly if someone posted a story such as this about me and it went viral, I would feel slandered. I thought the whole thing was a set-up when I read a posting from (I think) The Today Show. I believe it stated that the credit card company showed that a second receipt had been printed. Only the person operating the terminal can print a second receipt. I think Jeff said it best in his posting, and agree that stunts like this set back progress made.

  • melissa

    Well, to be fair here.. from what I see in the image posted above — the “customer copy” of the restaurant receipt has a an entry in the amount of $93.55 authorized for the transaction, not the claimed amount the customer is stating they paid for services, in which they claim to have included the tip when she waited on them for $111.55 … that being said $93.55 is the amount the waitress claimed she had received to begin with (no tip) .. where’s the actual authorization for the $111.55?? they could’ve written in any amount on that “customer copy”.. the “merchant copy” is what stays at the establishment & it’s what was actually authorized in the transaction that counts.. do others not see this?? this doesn’t deserve NEAR the attention that it’s receiving there are far more important issues going on in the world today than to drive people further apart with biased opinions & ignorance.. I couldn’t care a less either way, I always tip fairly & appropriately for services received.. to each their own & get an accurate “merchant copy” of a receipt before posting it on the internet making yourselves look like idiots arguing over this nonsense. Then again.. perhaps I am wrong & misreading all of this.. ha! am I the only one that sees the error?

    • EllieMartinstl

      Melissa,
      The family-as stated in the story- produced their copy of the original receipt AND their credit card statement showing that the amount on their statement matched their copy, not the waitresses. Anyone that has worked in the service industry will tell you that you can reprint a cc receipt after the transaction has been completed.

  • Kristy

    This just makes me mad. As someone from the LGBT community this just… this makes me so upset because then what happens if this goes on for real? It’s like the little boy who cried wolf.

    It’s sad that she had to do this… what was she hoping to accomplish?

  • tms

    In response to Melissa’s comment:
    There is no error. When a merchant swipes a customer’s card, all they have to go off of at that point is the bill amount. This is the “authorized amount.” The customer does not indicate a tip until they are signing the slip, after the card has already been run. The tip is then added to the transaction when the credit card receipts are batched at the end of the day/shift. Surely you have been to a restaurant where you’ve paid with a credit or debit card; you don’t tell the waiter or cashier a “tip amount” when they take your card to swipe it; you indicate this in the appropriate place on the slip after the fact.

    But also don’t forget this line from the story:
    “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.”

    The fact that the larger amount shows up on the credit card statement pretty much puts the issue to rest.

    • N. Cornello

      a restaurant charged me more than what my receipt said before . it was a buffet with bad service, they added a tip that only showed up on my bank statement. Im not saying I believe either side of this story. But Isnt it possible that the couple lied and schemed to get the waitress fired in outrage from seeing the receipt online? there are alot of bad people in the world.

      • tms

        “Isnt it possible that the couple lied and schemed to get the waitress fired in outrage from seeing the receipt online?”

        Not if the couple was able to produce the credit card statement which gives the total amount–including the tip–to back it up.

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