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Cadillac Dealer Got Political, Fired Worker Says

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - A Cadillac Subaru dealership fired a salesman for refusing to attend presentations urging employees not to vote for President Obama because of the Affordable Care Act, the fired salesman claims in court.

Dietrich Seney sued Renick Cadillac Subaru, in Orange County Court.

Seney claims he was a Subaru salesman for more that 2½ years before he was fired just days before the Nov. 6, 2012 presidential election.

Seney claims the dealership made him attend a "mandatory" meeting on his day off in late October 2012, under the pretext it would be about health insurance and filing taxes.

Seney claims the presentation "had nothing to do" with employee taxes, but was a jeremiad against Obamacare, hosted by a corporate insurance broker.

"The presentation put 'Obamacare' in a very negative light and the presenter said that one of the big problems was that it was passed by only one party, the Democrats," the lawsuit states. "The last line of the very last slide that was presented to the employee and Seney stated that the outcome of the 2012 election would have a huge impact on whether or not all of the changes (rate increases) would take effect. The message at the meeting was very clear: Vote for Obama and your health care costs will be higher."

Seney claims the dealership's vice president James Renick attached an anti-Obama message to workers' paychecks two weeks before the meeting.

When a "very upset" Seney complained to the dealership's general manager, (nonparty) Sherry Hosmer, she shrugged off his complaints, telling him it was "Obama's fault that the rates were going to increase, so she didn't see a problem with the presentation," Seney says in the complaint.

Seney says he was fired on Nov. 1, 2012, after he told Hosmer he would not attend "politically motivated," meetings on his day off.

He demands lost wages and benefits and damages for wrongful firing, Labor Code violations, discrimination and pain and suffering.

He is represented by Andrew Jones with Wagner, Jones, Kopfman & Artenian, of Fresno.

Renick Cadillac did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

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