A Winnebago County resident has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against her former employer on the grounds that she was fired for being a lesbian.
Brooke Berentes, who lives in Machesney Park, Illinois, a suburb of Rockford, said in her April 10 complaint that her boss at Choice Furniture, located in Rockford, fired her about a week after learning that her fiancé, Ashlie Judd, was a woman.
Berentes was hired in Aug. 2017. On Aug. 31, she introduced her finance to the store manager and, according to the complaint, she alleges she was given the "cold shoulder" by the store manager thereafter. On Sept. 6, she was informed that she was being let go because she was not "a good fit" for the company.
When Berentes' attorney attempted to resolve the matter, they were given a report of her supposed infractions, but she maintains that she was never informed of those while she was actually employed at Choice.
Berentes' complaint, filed on her behalf by Chicago attorney Betty Tsamis, maintains that Choice is in violation of federal Title VII gender-discrimination laws. An additional complaint maintains that the firm violated Americans with Disabilities Act rules when it asked Berentes to fill out a form listing her medications and physician information.
Judd was recently awarded parental rights of a child whom she and her ex-wife had conceived through artificial insemination. Her ex-wife had given birth to the child and had argued that Judd was therefore not entitled to such rights; an Illinois appeals court ruled in Judd's favor April 27 however.