Our Pledge To You

News

New lawsuit against Pritzker campaign alleges sexual discrimination

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker

Billionaire Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker will double the salaries of some of his key staffers out of his own pockets. | Sun-Times file photo

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign faces a new federal lawsuit, this time containing sexual discrimination allegations from a woman who is transgender.

However, a spokesman for the governor’s campaign said Sunday the woman was let go with several others after last year’s primary election — and he said the people who made that call had no information about her transgender status.

Emma Todd said she worked for Pritzker’s campaign as a field organizer starting in August 2017, received good feedback and had no problems on the job. But she began working for a new supervisor in February 2018, who allegedly told her she was “the reason people don’t like transgender people.”

The supervisor also allegedly viewed transgender identity as a sexual fetish and asked about transgender sexual habits in a prurient manner, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that Todd was fired around March 25 based on illegal discrimination.

Quentin Fulks, a spokesman for the campaign, said Todd had a number of disciplinary issues. Though none of them specifically led to her firing, he said they were among the factors considered when she was chosen to be among a group of workers laid off after the primary election.

Fulks also said the campaign leadership “had no idea of what Ms. Todd’s sexuality was.”

This is the second lawsuit the Pritzker campaign has faced. Weeks before the Nov. 6 election, 10 campaign workers for the gubernatorial nominee filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Democrat of running a campaign that is “a cesspool of racial discrimination and harassment.”

Lawyers for Pritzker asked a judge to toss out the racial discrimination lawsuit, characterizing the federal complaint as littered with “mischaracterizations, distortions, and outright falsehoods.”