Former reporter Sarah Tressler fighting for old job, will conduct stripping tour

Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sarah Tressler, former society reporter for the Houston Chronicle, is planning a “coast-to-coast stripping tour from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York, Miami, Tampa and Atlanta,” she tells Doug Elfman, entertainment columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Tressler lost her job at the Chronicle after the Houston Press reported she was blogging about her second job as a stripper. Tressler’s book about her experiences is due out next month.

Tressler has filed an EEOC complaint, asking for her job back. Gloria Allred is representing her. Tressler laid out her case to Elfman:

She says editors fired her because she didn’t list stripping on her job application. But in Houston, like in Vegas, strippers aren’t employees. They’re independent contractors. They pay clubs to let them strip, then they keep tips.

Also, does every writer at the Houston Chronicle list their service-industry history on applications?

“I’ve worked at KB Toys. I’ve worked at a surf shop. I’ve worked at multiple coffee shops. I’ve worked at Taco Bell. I’ve worked as a line cook at a restaurant,” Tressler said. “Do you really want me to put every single one of those on my job application?”

The Hearst-owned Chron isn’t talking, but in March Clifford Pugh laid out one possible line of argument for the paper: Journalists, he writes,

are held to a higher standard, which includes not doing anything to affect your credibility as a journalist and being open with an employer about anything in your past that might cause readers to view you in a different way.

Tressler was open about her job. Just not with her bosses. The case, if it proceeds, will be worth watching.

Correction: Tressler did not file a lawsuit, as this post originally reported. She filed an EEOC complaint.

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  • Poynter

    Thanks, Sarah. We have corrected it. –Julie Moos, Director of Poynter Online

  • Sarah Lynn Tressler

    Just to be clear, I have not sued the Chronicle, as this article indicates. 

  • Anonymous

    Reporting stint tarnishes stripper’s CV. 

  • Anonymous

    Reporting stint tarnishes stripper’s CV. 

  • Tommy Gardner

    Actually, comparing how much strippers make with how much reporters make, I would imagine the Chron job would be the secondary one, at least as far as income goes.

  • Ron Hayes

    Would the fact that a stripper had once been a journalist cause you to view her in a different way…?

  • Melissa Bower

    I think the real issue is why a reporter at the Houston Chronicle would need secondary employment in the first place.