The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission General Counsel who ardently fought for religious freedom for American employees got fired on Friday by President Joe Biden after refusing his invitation to resign.
According to Christian Headlines, Biden fired Sharon Fast Gustafson on Friday after she refused to resign from her post that former President Donald Trump appointed her to three years ago, stating that she "wanted to honor that commitment."
Gustafson pointed out in a letter she sent on the same day to Biden that her appointment, which was confirmed on August 2019 by the Senate, is valid until August 2023. She was then told by Biden that she will be fired come 5 p.m. that day and it did happen.
"Your request that I resign provided no reason for the request, and I do not know which of your advisors recommended that you make the request. But please be aware that there are those who oppose my advocacy on behalf of employees who experience religious discrimination and on behalf of constitutional and statutory protections for religious entities. I would like to continue my work on the EEOC'S mission to prevent and remedy illegal employment discrimination," Gustafson told Biden in the letter.
In the letter, Gustafson also raised the importance of civil rights as a "bipartisan issue" and how she "diligently enforce the anti-discrimination statutes" as General Counsel for the benefit of all American employees but with due fairness to American employers.
She gave a rundown of her accomplishments that included 93 merits lawsuits at the district court level, 165 resolved merits lawsuits in the federal district courts, 96% favorable results for all district court resolutions, and 33 systemic cases resolved including 8 cases of over 100 discrimination victims translating to $69.9 million relief given to said victims.
These do not include the accomplishments in the federal circuit court of appeals, lawsuits challenging workplace harassment, and the establishment of the Religious Discrimination Work Group her office established based on the 2016 Obama-Biden Administration initiative.
"I would like to continue my work on the EEOC's mission to prevent and remedy illegal employment discrimination," she pointed out. "When my term ends and the time comes for my eventual successor to assume the position of General Counsel of the EEOC, it would be my great pleasure to then cooperate and facilitate in an orderly transition."
Gustafson, known for being a staunch defender of religious freedom during her stint, got fired after another Trump appointee, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Peter Robb, was fired for refusing to resign last January 20, The Detroit News said. A co-EEOC lawyer previously spoke against Gustafson's stance for religious liberty, especially after her office filed a lawsuit against Kroger Co, since it may conflict with the rights of LGBT workers, The Detroit News added.
Christian Headlines previously explained that the EEOC under the leadership of Gustafson filed a lawsuit against Arkansas-based Kroger store last September 14, 2020 for violating federal anti-discrimination law when it fired two employees who declined to wear aprons bearing the LGBT colors due to their religious beliefs.
The American Conservative raised the "chilling" implications Biden's firing of Gustafson has on religious liberty, stating that it shows the administration gives no importance to it in the workplace due to its "clash" against LGBT priorities.
"If the White House fired General Counsel Gustafson because it wanted its own person in there, that would be contestable, but not alarming. The fact that the White House has done this shortly after spiking the religious liberty work Gustafson helped lead within the EEOC is a chilling reminder of what a Democratic administration now means for vulnerable religious believers," The American Conservative said.