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Transgender Worker Sues Employer for Denying ‘Gender-Affirming’ Health Coverage

AP Photo/Robin Rayne

A biological man who identifies as a transgender woman filed a discrimination complaint against his Christian employer for denying coverage for “gender-affirming” care.


According to the complaint, Lillian Bernier, 31, lives with “gender dysphoria” and is seeking irreversible transgender care to “live consistent with their gender identity.” Bernier works as a machinist for a company based in New Hampshire called Turbocam that makes parts for the HVAC, automotive, aviation and space exploration industries. The complaint alleges that his company is discriminating against his for not covering hormone therapy, counseling, and surgery to transition (via

The complaint was filed Dec. 16 with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission, as well as the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“Lillian is just asking to be treated with the same dignity, humanity, and fairness as other employees of the company,” said Bernier’s lawyer, Chris Erchull, of GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders in Boston.

“By maintaining a blanket exclusion of coverage for any health care related to transgender transition, the company is providing Lillian and any other transgender employees, presently or in the future, a lesser tier of benefits,” Erchull said. “It sends a message that her healthcare needs are not legitimate.”

The seven-page complaint alleges that Turbocam and Health Plans Inc., a Westborough company that administers Turbocam’s self-funded health coverage plan, is violating employment nondiscrimination provisions of the New Hampshire Human Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Bernier, a mother to sons ages 11 and 12, joined the company in 2019 as a mill operator and was promoted to machine operator a year later. She began transitioning in 2020. She has paid out of pocket for medical care and put off critical treatment, according to the complaint.


Jordan Pratt, a senior counsel at First Liberty Institute, said that “Turbocam sees Lillian and all employees as created in God’s image and is providing as much support as possible consistent with its Mission, faith and the law.”

In addition, Pratt said Bernier has the option of taking a “substantial cash bonus they can use to choose any health insurance or medical services they desire. This should resolve the issue.” Reportedly, Bernier believes this option is “insufficient” to purchase transgender health care services.

“She has needed, and continues to need, hormone replacement therapy, counseling, and medically recommended surgeries to treat her gender dysphoria,” the complaint said.

Last month, Townhall covered how a 32-year-old former “non-binary” woman announced that she will sue the medical professionals who performed her irreversible double mastectomy surgery on her two years ago. 

The adult woman, Camille Kiefel, had her breasts removed in 2020 in an effort to align with her chosen “gender identity.” Her healthcare providers reportedly did not look into her mental health issues and greenlighted her surgery after two Zoom meetings, one that lasted 40 minutes and one that lasted an hour. She had her breasts removed Aug. 28 and experienced complications soon after. 


“I was so dysfunctional, and I just wanted something that was going to help me,” she told The Post. “I thought I would be happier.”

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