California Man Sues Little Caesars for Denying Health Benefits to Husband

A former Little Caesars employee has filed a lawsuit accusing the Detroit-based pizza chain of denying employees health insurance benefits for legally married same-sex couples, Reuters reports

Caesars-logoThe lawsuit was brought in state Superior Court in Orange County, regional headquarters for the nation's third-largest pizza chain, by Frank Bernard, 47, who said he quit his job after Little Caesars refused to extend coverage to his husband of six years.

"I didn't want anything special, I just wanted the same benefits package as heterosexual couples," Bernard said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

The lawsuit names Little Caesars Enterprises and its parent company, Ilitch Holdings, as defendants, accusing them of discriminating against Bernard on the basis of his sexual orientation, in violation of California law.

It cites a letter Little Caesars presented Bernard explaining a benefits policy that defined "spouse" as "the one person to whom you are legally married under the laws of the state in which you reside, including common law spouse, and who is the opposite gender from you."

Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Michigan, although the voter-approved ban is currently awaiting ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The state also has no protection against discrimination in the workplace for LGBT individuals. 

Gloria Allred is representing Bernard. 

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  1. You have to give this guy props, no self respecting man would admit to working for Little Caesars, let alone a gay man.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Aug 28, 2014 1:53:27 PM

  2. Ugh. Gloria Allred.

    Posted by: dumbnhung | Aug 28, 2014 1:55:40 PM

  3. They'd be extremely stupid to let this go to trial.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 28, 2014 2:00:07 PM

  4. It's horrible pizza. Easy to boycott, if it comes to that.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 28, 2014 2:02:58 PM

  5. Sorry crappy pizza company; you gotta play by California rules if you want to do business here.

    Posted by: Rob | Aug 28, 2014 2:05:50 PM

  6. I think its a requirement in this country that all major Pizza chains have to be run by bigoted megalomaniac wingnuts.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Aug 28, 2014 2:18:32 PM

  7. Little Caesars. Bigot bigot.

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 28, 2014 2:21:17 PM

  8. BobbyJoe, I think you're on to something....

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 28, 2014 2:25:32 PM

  9. The owners son was arrested YESTERDAY for cocaine possession at a very sleazy motel, his other soon has been arrested too, in and out of problems with the law. So, I'm waiting for the family-values lies to start.

    Posted by: Martin | Aug 28, 2014 2:27:29 PM

  10. Make that CRACK COCAINE and he was busted with a known prostitute. FAMILY VALUES!!!

    Posted by: Martin | Aug 28, 2014 2:29:55 PM

  11. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/08/27/police-son-of-ilitch-arrested-at-detroit-motel-on-drug-charges/

    Posted by: Martin | Aug 28, 2014 2:30:15 PM

  12. The Hobby Lobby majority on SCOTUS is champing at the bit to apply their reasoning to this case.

    Posted by: Merv | Aug 28, 2014 2:40:18 PM

  13. Maybe an unfortunate choice of a lawyer, but this is ridiculously illegal behavior on the part of the low-grade pizza chain....

    They better fix this fast, as there are 18 other states that will be ready to shut them down, too....

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Aug 28, 2014 2:40:26 PM

  14. Their son, Ronald, has also recently been arrested for beating his live-in girlfriend.


    Notice, in the story they just say Cocaine and not crack cocaine, because he's rich and white.

    Posted by: Martin | Aug 28, 2014 3:00:04 PM

  15. There were a bunch of comments about this on their facebook page earlier today, but those are all scrubbed now.

    Posted by: Martin | Aug 28, 2014 3:09:17 PM

  16. His sons are in their late 50s?!?

    Of course, by Republican standards, their multiple crimes that they've committed as they approach retirement age are only "youthful indiscretions".

    Thanks for the links!

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Aug 28, 2014 3:15:15 PM

  17. Decades ago, Little Caesars was pretty good. I used to love their sesame crust. But now all they have is this "hot and ready" garbage, and some ugly guy waving a sign in front of their locations.

    For real Detroit pizza (i.e. deep, square) Buddy's is my favorite. I don't know their position on euqality, but I would be surprised if they were bigots.

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 28, 2014 5:43:22 PM

  18. *equality

    (still waiting for a new comment system, with basic functions like editing typos)

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 28, 2014 5:44:14 PM

  19. This news item is a bit vague. Does, or did this guy and his spouse live in Michigan or in California when he work at Little Caesars? If CA, he wins, if MI, he loses. Does he not know that even if you are legally married in a legal marriage state but then reside in a non-legal state, you're SOL. You don't even get survivor social security benefits if your spouse dies--despite SS being a federal program, it is written that spousal benefits are based on whether the state in which you (last) reside recognizes the marriage.

    Posted by: CAnaive | Aug 28, 2014 10:29:19 PM

  20. I don't care if it's great pizza or lousy pizza; that's irrelevant to the issue at hand!

    They've got to obey the law of the state(s) in which they operate!

    Posted by: Gay Guy | Aug 28, 2014 10:35:48 PM

  21. Pizza. Pizza.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 29, 2014 12:31:15 AM

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