Bernier v. Turbocam, Inc.
We are suing Turbocam, Inc. and Health Plans, Inc., a Harvard Pilgrim company, for treating our client Lillian differently than other employees because she is a transgender woman.
On December 16, 2022, GLAD filed an employment discrimination case on behalf of a transgender woman challenging her employer, Turbocam, Inc.’s total exclusion of medical coverage for necessary healthcare related to gender transition. The claim was filed at the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission under both state and federal nondiscrimination law.
Turbocam, Inc. provides healthcare coverage to workers as part of employee compensation. Lillian Bernier has worked as a machinist at Turbocam since 2019, including continuous work through the COVID pandemic. When Lillian sought coverage for doctor-recommended healthcare, she learned that the company’s self-funded health plan does not cover any treatment related to gender transition. Such an exclusion has no medical basis.
By implementing and maintaining the exclusion, Turbocam is denying Lillian the same level of healthcare benefits that other employees receive because she is transgender. Lillian, who supports herself and her family through her income, has had to pay out of pocket for medical expenses and even delay some critical care, to the detriment of herself and her family.
“I’m proud of my work as a machinist at Turbocam. Like everyone else I rely on the pay and healthcare coverage from my job to support myself and my family. I’m just asking for fair coverage and to be treated the same as my coworkers.”
-Lillian Bernier, plaintiff
Health Partners, Inc. (HPI), a Harvard Pilgrim company that administers Turbocam, Inc.’s self-funded plan, is also named in the complaint. As a third-party administrator, HPI assists Turbocam in maintaining and implementing its discriminatory exclusion of coverage for care related to gender transition in violation of state and federal law.
Transgender worker denied coverage alleges discrimination | Associated Press