Pritzker campaign sued for transgender discrimination

CHICAGO — A transgender woman has filed a lawsuit against the JB Pritzker gubernatorial campaign saying she was discriminated against.

The lawsuit was filed on Jan. 18 by Emma Todd. Todd had been hired as a field organizer by the campaign in August 2017, but fired in March 2018, just one month after Raynal Sands was hired as her supervisor. According to the lawsuit, Sands had expressed hostility against transgender people and told others that she was planning to fire Todd.

Todd’s attorney, Jillian T. Weiss, told the Chicago Tribune that they had tried to talk with the campaign before filing the lawsuit.

“Ms. Todd is very much in favor of Gov. Pritzker and the work that he is doing. She’s not blaming him for what happened,” Weiss said. “But unfortunately it did happen.”

A Pritzker spokesperson told Capitol Fax that Todd was fired for cause.

From Capitol Fax:

* A Pritzker campaign spokesperson told me Todd was “fired for cause” because of several “performance issues.”

For instance, Todd treated campaign volunteers “poorly,” and used profanity with volunteers, the spokesperson alleged. Todd also posted “sexually explicit images” at her workplace and refused to take them down when asked, the spokesperson said.

Todd was allegedly let go after the primary when the campaign “downsized.” Her last paycheck was issued on March 30th.

And, the Pritzker spokesperson claimed, the campaign wasn’t even aware of Todd’s sexual orientation or her sexual identity when she was let go.

The Cook County Record reported that lawyers for the campaign asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit on Friday.

The Tribune reported that the campaign was sued before the election by African-American and Latinx staffers over racial discrimination.

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