Health Care Worker Fired Over Christian Gender Ideology

The physician’s assistant says she was fired after she disclosed her religious beliefs.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Physician assistant Valerie Kloosterman was called “evil” and fired by her diversity program leader after she disclosed her religious beliefs on gender identity.
  • Kloosterman’s employer promptly fired her despite her spotless 17-year history of diligent patient care at a clinic.
  • The University of Michigan Health-West (UMH-West) is being urged by Kloosterman’s attorneys to grant her a religious accommodation, restore her, and protect others from “similar prejudice.”
  • The physician’s assistant’s attorneys sent a letter to her former employer attempting to solve the issue without litigation.
  • Head public relations and communications director for UMH-West Chris Zoladz told journalists that the “University of Michigan Health-West is committed to providing appropriate medical treatment to all patients and respects the religious beliefs of its employees. Our organization does not discuss personnel issues and as such, has no further comment.”
CASE DETAILS:
  • Kloosterman is being represented by First Liberty Institute (FLI), a nonprofit public-interest law firm that won two Supreme Court rulings regarding religious freedoms over the summer.
  • The 42-year-old married mother of four was dismissed over a year ago and turned to FLI for help get her job back, according to senior counsel for FLI Jordan Pratt.
  • “Before firing Ms. Kloosterman, Michigan Health blatantly denigrated her religious beliefs, attempted to compel her to speak against her conscience, discriminated against her for her religious beliefs, and refused to reasonably accommodate her religious beliefs,” First Liberty said in a Sept. 27 letter.
BACKGROUND:
  • Employees with counter-progressive views have been struggling to keep their jobs, including a hospital that fired a Christian employee over pronouns and transgender surgery.
  • In another instance of discrimination, a flight attendant was fired for expressing her pro-life views and has taken her former employer, Southwest Airlines, to court over her right to religious expression.