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Woman claims she was fired for voting for Obama

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Feb. 20, 2013 at 3:34 PM   |   Comments

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Feb. 20 (UPI) -- An Ohio woman is suing her former employer, claiming she was terminated for voting for President Obama in November.

Patricia Kunkle, of Kettering, filed a lawsuit against defense contractor Q-Mark Inc. its owner Roberta Gentile, seeking damages in excess of $25, 000, the Dayton Daily News reported.

According to the suit, Kunkle claims Gentile threatened to fire employees if Obama won reelection, starting with those suspected of pulling the lever for the president.

Kunkle claims she mentioned her voting preferences the day after the election, November 7, and was fired two days later for what Gentile said was in the "best interest of the company." The lawsuit also alleges Gentile sought to discover employees' political affiliations and often had negative things to say to those with whom she disagreed.

“Ms. Kunkle was laid off for economic reasons – nothing more,” Brian Wildermuth, Gentile's attorney, told the Dayton Daily News in a statement. ” I am sure you and your readers are familiar with the ongoing uncertainties regarding defense spending, and thus the economic environment confronting defense contractors."

"The allegation that Q-Mark discharged Ms. Kunkle because of her vote is simply false.”

Kunkle's suit describes her as an "efficient and effective" employee who was never disciplined and worked overtime without collecting overtime pay. She said she began working for Q-Mark in April 2012, becoming a full-time employee in May.

"Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, taking it to the extreme of impairing somebody’s career because they disagree with your political choices is just wrong,” said Kunkle’s attorney, Karen Dunlevey. “We’re hoping that the court will recognize that and adopt a public policy exception for her.”

Defense attorneys have until March to respond to the case.

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