Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 1-284-442-8000 direct/can also WhatsApp same number or Email ALL news;                               ads call 1-284-440-6666

Employee fired for refusing to attend LGBTQ training session loses appeal

March 15th, 2023 | Tags:
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of an account clerk in upstate New York who was fired from his job for refusing to attend a mandatory LGBTQ training in 2018. Photo: HaizhanZheng via Getty Images

A federal appellate court rejected the appeal of a former account clerk in upstate New York who was fired from his job for refusing to attend a mandatory LGBTQ training in 2018.

Raymond Zdunski was employed at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES for seven years before his termination, which he likened to "unlawful religious discrimination." He sued the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES seeking reinstatement, back pay and $10 million in damages.

The plaintiff had argued that the LGBTQ training and makeup session were "aimed at changing his religious beliefs about gender and sexuality," and that attending the training "would have caused him to violate the religious teachings to which he adheres," according to the lawsuit. BOCES denied his request for a religious accommodation.


District Court Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford dismissed Zdunksi's lawsuit in 2022, concluding that his claims were "unsupported" and agreeing with BOCES that he was fired for refusing to attend the trainings, which BOCES had maintained were intended to help prevent discrimination in the workplace.

"Plaintiff's unsupported assumption that Defendants believe him to be ‘bigoted’ due to his religious beliefs is insufficient to support an inference of discrimination," Crawford said in his ruling. "In sum, no facts in the record support a finding that Mr. Zdunski was terminated because of his religion; rather, the evidence in the record supports Defendants' position that his termination was due to repeatedly refusing to attend a mandatory employee training."

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals backed BOCES this week, saying in its opinion that Zdunksi had failed to provide "sufficient evidence" for his claims.

"It just seems like the country is against the Christian way of life, and it's for everything else," Zdunski responded. "We're not allowed to practice our way of life but anyone else can, it seems."

Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES said in a statement to Fox News Digital that Zdunski was fired for "insubordination."


U.S. workplaces have in recent years experienced more of a push toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). But a recent study found that companies are slashing DEI jobs while workers were leaving these fields at a higher rate than non-DEI positions. The study by Revelio Labs said last year companies who had layoffs cut DEI positions at a 33% rate versus a 21% cut for other roles.

Leave a Reply

Create a comment

Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.