Cyclist fired for showing Trump middle finger sues ex-employer

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A marketing executive who lost her job after displaying a middle finger to President Donald Trump's motorcade is suing her employer for wrongful dismissal.

"Defendent forced plaintiff to resign for the stated reasons that the photograph of her would have an adverse effect on its ability to obtain government contracts", the lawsuit said.

Briskman's one-finger salute was captured by White House pool photographer Brendan Smialowski October 28, just moments after US President Donald Trump left his golf course in Sterling, Virginia.

In November Briskman revealed that she chose to give Trump the finger because it was the "only way I had to give him the message that I wanted to give".

Juli Briskman was sacked from the marketing team at Akima LLC in November shortly after she volunteered that she was the one who had made the gesture in a photo that went viral, she said at the time.

She said she was told she had violated the company's social media policy, and said the company in turn fired her.

Juli Briskman, who was a marketing analyst for the firm Akima, says the decision to terminate her was a violation of her right to free speech, according to her complaint filed before a court in Virgina on Wednesday and seen by AFP.

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'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'.

"The actions of my company were swift and unexpected", she said.

Briskman's attorneys are arguing that her gesture is protected by the First Amendment. While Briskman was sacked for that expression, one of the company's Senior Director of Operations stated a derogatory statement regarding the Black Lives Movement and he was still employed by the company.

I wasn't successful in reaching anyone at Akima for comment.

Dvorak isn't the only person to hold the opinion that Briskman's firing was based on fear of reprisal from the Trump administration. Briskman posted the image on her Facebook page.

Briskman said she was treated differently than another employee, who was allowed to keep their job once they deleted a comment about Black Lives Matter that contained an expletive, the Geller Law Group explained.

According to her lawsuit, Akima promised Briskman four weeks of severance pay but gave her only two. "You're golfing again?" before raising her finger.

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