A woman from Ohio filed a lawsuit against her former company this week claiming that she was fired for voting for Obama.
According to Dayton Daily News, Patricia Kunkle is suing defense contractor Q-Mark and its president Roberta “Bobbie” Gentile for more than $25,000 for wrongful termination.
Kunkle claims that Gentile threatened her employees before the 2012 election, saying that anyone who voted for President Obama would be fired. Kunkle says that the topic of politics came up at work the day after the election and she was outed as an Obama supporter. A few days later she lost her job.
Kunkle’s attorney Karen Dunlevey said:
“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, taking it to the extreme of impairing somebody’s career because they disagree with your political choices is just wrong … We’re hoping that the court will recognize that and adopt a public policy exception for her.”
Before the 2012 election, there were several companies urging their employees (and in some cases threatening them) not to vote for Obama. Most of the CEOs said that if Obama was elected president they would be forced to fire people because of the financial restraints that they would be inevitably burdened with.
Gentile’s attorney, Brian Wildermuth, didn’t say if Roberta had threatened her employees with termination but he did say that Kunkle’s firing was purely budgetary.
“Ms. Kunkle was laid off for economic reasons – nothing more … I am sure you and your readers are familiar with the ongoing uncertainties regarding defense spending, and thus the economic environment confronting defense contractors. The allegation that Q-Mark discharged Ms. Kunkle because of her vote is simply false.”
If Kunkle does win her lawsuit, Dunlevey said that it would set a precedent for future cases about political discrimination.