LOS ANGELES – A former fitness instructor at a Reseda nursing home is suing the facility, alleging she was wrongfully fired in 2022 for responding to a resident’s question by saying she believed U.S. tax dollars were better spent at home than in Ukraine.
Karima Williams’ Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against the Grancell Village of the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging seeks at least $150,000 in damages each for lost earnings and emotional distress as well as punitive damages. A representative for the Tampa Avenue facility did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the suit brought Friday.
Williams was hired at the nursing home as a fitness instructor in 2006 and her job was to help residents exercise during a 24-hour work week that paid her $37.70 per hour, the suit states.
Grancell Village residents were discussing political issues and current events in the facility’s gym around Election Day in 2022 when the topic became the ongoing war in Ukraine and whether Donald Trump was a better president than Joe Biden, the suit states.
After one resident Williams what she thought about the Ukraine war, the plaintiff said that in her opinion tax dollars should be spent in the U.S. rather than in that European country, the suit states.
In retaliation for expressing her comments that she was free to express under the state Labor Code, Williams was fired in November, according to the suit, which further states that the loss of her job has caused the plaintiff to lose earnings and suffer emotional distress.