VA Made Chaplain Out to Be a Bigot, She Says
LOS ANGELES (CN) - The Department of Veteran Affairs stereotyped a chaplain as "narrow-minded bigoted fundamentalist," and fired her with false anti-Semitism claims, she says in Federal Court.
Carmen Blair sued the department and its director, Eric Shinseki, for religious and sex discrimination in connection to her 2007 termination.
Blair says she was hired in late 2006 as a part-time chaplain for the department's Los Angeles hospice unit. During her fleeting time in the job, a nurse manager allegedly accused Blair of being hostile to patients not of Christian faith.
The manager "falsely reported to coworkers that plaintiff Blair denounced
non-Christian patients' beliefs and practices as 'demonic' and otherwise 'evil,' and that
plaintiff Blair made statements to this effect to her during work hours on hospice premises," the lawsuit states.
Blair says a social worker at the hospice falsely accused her of "harboring an aversion" to Jews and Native Americans, refusing to work with non-Christians, and making an "anti-Semitic remark" to a rabbi with the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.
The managers allegedly communicated the accusations to her co-workers through emails and reports.
Blair says she was never given the opportunity to refute the claims nor given an explanation when she was transferred to a West Los Angeles facility. She calls the transfer a "sham" that let her employers "buy time" to fire her.
"Blair's termination was the direct result of discriminatory and biased attitudes on the part of her treatment team towards her, as a conservative, Charismatic Christian, having nothing to do with her ability to perform her job," her complaint alleges.
Blair seeks unspecified damages, as well reinstatement to her old job and the creation of a discrimination- prevention program.
She is represented by Alan Reinach with Church State Council of Westlake Village, Calif.