Cyclist who lost job after giving Trump the middle finger sues former employer


    Juli Briskman, the woman in photo that moved viral last October, is suing her old corporation claiming it unlawfully forced her to resign

    A cyclist in effect burnt from her task after giving Donald Trump the middle thumb is suing her former employer.

    Juli Briskman filed a lawsuit in a Virginia tribunal on Wednesday underlining the fact that the government contractor Akima transgressed the state’s employment law when it forced her to quit.

    Briskman was cycling last October when Trump, departing his golf club in Sterling , northern Virginia, passed her in his motorcade. She raised the middle thumb of her left hand.” This is pretty much the only thing I had to express my views ,” she later explained to the Guardian.

    The image was captured by photographers travelling with the president and quickly went viral, earning her devotee mail, hate mail, cash donations and five minutes of fame. Briskman, a marketing executive, disclosed the accident to her bosses at Akima, where she had worked for six months.

    The Herndon-based corporation then forced her to vacate, claiming that her post of a photo of the incident on her Facebook page( which did not mention her association with Akima) transgressed the company’s social media policy.

    The lawsuit, filed by the Geller Law Group and Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan pressure group, highlights the fact that Akima contravened Virginia employment law by firing Briskman out of anxiety of unlawful government retaliation.

    Juli Briskman in her hometown of Sterling, Virginia. Photo: Liz Lynch for the Guardian

    It contends that earlier in 2017, a senior director of operations at Akima wrote the words” You’re a fucking Libtard asshole” in a Facebook discussion about Black Lives Matter. Even though the senior director’s Facebook profile recognized him as an Akima employee, the suit tells, he was allowed to delete the offensive statement and continue his job.

    Briskman, 50, a single mom of two teenagers, said:” I filed this lawsuit against my former employer today because I believe that Americans should not be forced to choose between their principles and their paychecks. Working for a company that does business with the federal government should provide you with greater possibilities, but it should never limit your ability to criticize that government in your private hour .”

    Akima did not respond to telephone call or emails requesting commentary. Briskman now has nearly 18,000 adherents on Twitter. Her profile begins :” Resister. Flipper. Cyclist .”

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