On November 15, the Center for Individual Rights filed a political opinion and racial discrimination lawsuit against BrightKey, Inc., a Maryland corporation, which fired its vice president of operations, Greg Krehbiel, over views that he expressed in his off-work podcast. BrightKey violated Krehbiel’s rights under county, state, and federal anti-discrimination law.
In his podcast, Krehbiel questioned diversity hiring requirements and enhanced penalties for “hate crimes.” Other BrightKey employees discovered Krehbiel’s podcast. They objected to the content because his views were the product of “white privilege.” Shortly after discovering the podcast, a group of employees walked out and demanded the company fire Krehbiel. BrightKey swiftly acceded to the employees’ demands.
CIR is suing BrightKey for firing Krehbiel over the political opinions that he expressed in his podcast. Howard County, Maryland is one of many jurisdictions around the country that protects employees from political opinion discrimination. The suit also alleges racial discrimination under Howard County, state, and federal anti-discrimination law. Krehbiel expressed legitimate public policy positions, but because of his race, BrightKey employees construed his views as bigoted. CIR filed the case in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.