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. 

Comments

  1. Martin says

    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.

  2. TonyJazz says

    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….

  3. oncemorewithfeeling says

    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!

  4. Randy says

    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.

  5. CAnaive says

    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.

  6. Gay Guy says

    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!

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