The problems began last spring. Gray, 50, owns a lawn service business on the side. He was routinely driving to work in his pickup truck towing a trailer that he uses to carry lawn mowing equipment for his business. On the side of his trailer, the married father of two affixed a sign that reads "Lawn Services Done With Pride!! By An English Speaking American."
"There are a lot of people in the lawn service that are non-English speaking," Gray said. "Customers and different people were telling me that they have a hard time trying to communicate with them about the work they want done on their yards. I just want to let people know they at least can communicate with me when I do work on their property."
Arapahoe County officials told Gray the sign and hat must go or else. In a Nov. 10, 2005, letter, his supervisor Monty Sedlak wrote the following:
"Some of your conduct ... is reprehensible and discriminatory to our non-English speaking and/or Hispanic workforce. You are in violation of ... guidelines which ensure a workplace free from harassment and sensitive to the diversity of employees."