Louisville woman who said she was fired for being 'too butch' files lawsuit against former employer
A federal lawsuit has been filed against a Louisville credit union alleging it fired a female employee because she is gay.
LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) – A federal lawsuit has been filed against a Louisville credit union alleging it fired a female employee because she is gay.
In documents obtained by WDRB News, Penelope Hudson says she has worked with Park Community Credit Union for more than 15 years at several credit union branches.
Hudson was fired in September and recently filed the lawsuit in civil court, but it has since been moved to Federal Court.
“I can’t change who I am," Hudson said. "Being gay is not a choice, and they fired me for that."
Despite what she says were superior reviews and performance records, Hudson said she endured years of harassment and gay jokes because of how she looked -- often at work with short hair and little to no make-up.
“I don’t really understand. I look professional," she said. "I finally said, ‘Do I look too butch?’ and they’re, like, ‘Yes.'"
Hudson said many of the incidences happened by people in the HR Department.
"If you can't go and tell HR then, who can you go to?" she said.
Hudson’s attorney, Shannon Fauver, has dealt human rights cases like this in the past.
“The fact that you can harass somebody for being gay doesn’t mean you should do it, and in Jefferson County, you’re not allowed to do that anyway,” Fauver said.
According to the documents, in one incident a branch manager told employees to pray for good numbers but turned to Hudson and made a comment Hudson didn’t believe in God because she’s gay.
Park Community Credit Union spokesperson released a statement to WDRB saying,
“On June 5, Park Community Credit Union moved the Penelope Hudson case from state court to federal court. Because Ms. Hudson claims she has a cause of action under federal law and state law, Park Community Credit Union has a right to choose the venue. Park decided to ask a federal court to hear the case. We are proceeding in our defense of the matter.
Park Community Credit Union has served the Louisville Community for over 50 years. We take great pride in the diversity of our work force and embrace each employee as a part of our family. Park Community Credit Union vehemently denies the allegations made against us and will defend our position through all legal means.”
The credit Union now has until Tuesday to legally respond to the lawsuit.
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