LOS ANGELES — A California man has filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination by Detroit-based Little Caesars Pizza for denying health insurance benefits to employees’ same-sex spouses.
Frank Bernard, 47, filed the action in state Superior Court in Orange County, Calif., on Wednesday against the nation’s third-largest pizza chain, reports Reuters.
Bernard 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.”