Twix Chocolate Maker, Mars Chocolate Being Sued By Former Employee

Lesbian Claims Candy Maker Mars Fired Her Over Her Sexual Orientation

Hackettstown, NJ – Theresa Kwiecinski, 46, has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court against Mars Chocolate North America for wrongful termination, citing she was unfairly dismissed primarily for being openly gay. According to the complaint, Mars Chocolate is guilty of discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Kwiecinski began working as a commercial manager for external manufacturing at Mars Chocolate in October 1999. Mars Chocolate is known for their iconic candy brands like M&M’s, Snickers, Milky Way, and Twix.

The Plaintiff alleges in her 11-page filing, colleagues treated her differently after a weeklong 2011 work retreat in Florida. Employees and family were in attendance. While at the conference Kwiecinski introduced her co-workers to her partner Dana and son Mason. Thereafter she noticed an increase in work volatility. Supervisors began assigning an unreasonable work load, longer hours, and requests for assistance went ignored.

Prior to the Florida conference, Kwiecinski had already been hindered with an unfair performance review in February 2010. Conducted by a newly hired supervisor, it described her as performing “below expectations.” The professional assessment also penalized her for failing to “prepare enough for her maternity leave.”

Leading up to the unfavorable review, Kwiecinski had been hospitalized with unexpected complications surrounding her pregnancy, and then required maternity leave from work. Kwiecinski’s gave birth to her son Mason that August, and she took a six-month maternity leave that ended in January 2011. Supervisors warned her afterwards she was a “performance risk,” having been absent for such a prolonged period.

The lawsuit highlights how Kwiecinski felt targeted over both her medical status and sexual orientation. The bias reviews persisted, ultimately resulting in Kwiecinski’s dismissal.

Do you think she was legitimately fired for taking off too much time? Or do you think she was right to file for discrimination?