LOS ANGELES — A former trainee manager at Little Caesars pizza in California sued the company for discrimination last week, accusing the Detroit-based chain of denying employees health insurance benefits for their legally wed same-sex spouses, Reuters reports.
The 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,” Reuters quoted Bernard as having 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, the Reuters article notes.
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.”
The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court order requiring the company to treat gay and straight married workers equally in providing employment benefits.
Neither Little Caesars nor Ilitch Holdings responded to Reuters’ requests for comment on the case.