A California childcare worker sued her former employer last week for allegedly mistreating and terminating her due to her objection to reading books that feature gay couples to children.
Nelli Parisenkova was employed for four years, caring for children aged five and younger at Bright Horizons Children's Center in Los Angeles, according to the complaint she filed Thursday with the Superior Court of California, reported Fox News.
Parisenkova, who is being represented by the conservative Catholic law firm Thomas More Society, claims that at first, she had not been required to read literature with LGBT themes to the children in her care – that changed when the director of the center discovered her religious beliefs.
According to the complaint, when director Katy Callas discovered Parisenkova's "devout Christian" beliefs, she refused her employee's requests to give her a religious accommodation to refrain from promoting such books and created a hostile work environment that ultimately led to her termination.
The complaint explained how forcing Parisenkova to read books about same-sex relationships "would violate her religious beliefs and constitute promotion of intimate relationships and choices that are contrary to the teachings of her faith."
"Parisenkova formally requested a religious accommodation from Bright Horizons that aligned with her prior informally granted request. Bright Horizons responded by categorically denying the request," the lawsuit states, claiming that the childcare provider "made no attempt whatsoever to determine whether a reasonable accommodation could be reached."
"Instead, Bright Horizons issued a counseling memo with false statements, terminated her life insurance benefits, required her to complete retraining in diversity issues, and encouraged her to resign her position," Parisenkova's suit alleges. "Ms. Parisenkova could not return to work without an accommodation; so, Bright Horizons terminated her employment."
The suit hands Bright Horizons and its staff multiple charges, including wrongful termination, unlawful retaliation, religion-based harassment, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, failure to accommodate, unlawful constructive discharge, and disparate treatment.
Special counsel at the Thomas More Law Society, Paul Jonna, described Parisenkova's case as "an outrageous example of religious discrimination."
According to Jonna, Parisenovka "had been operating under the radar with an informal accommodation request for multiple years without notice," but Bright Horizons threw at her "the full force of the company's anti-religious and ironically 'un-inclusive' diversity policy," as soon as upper-level management "discovered her religious beliefs and received her formal accommodation request."
"They tried to get her to quit through harassment and intimidation. When she couldn't return to work because they denied her accommodation request, they fired her," claimed the lawyer.
"You can’t get much more discriminatory than that. It’s unethical, and it’s blatantly illegal," he added.
Jonna also claimed that when his client was called into Callas' office, she "questioned her in an irate manner, told her that if she did not want to celebrate diversity this was not the place for her to work, gave her an administrative leave memo, escorted her outside with a security guard, and left her out in the 96-degree heat with no transportation."
According to the complaint, Parisenovka had to walk 20 minutes in the heat and 45 minutes for transportation, causing her to suffer from heat exhaustion for the two days that followed.
Join and support independent free thinkers!
We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.
Remind me next month