A Virginia woman filed a federal lawsuit against a Salvation Army after they allegedly told her she was “too attractive” to work there.
Lisa McKinley worked at the Salvation Army in Roanoke, Virginia, as a case manager in 2013. At that time she worked with homeless men to help them cope with their situation.
“It’s work I had done previously in the past and which I enjoyed,” McKinley told WDBJ7.
She says that in an interview with the Lodge Director Mike Moffitt, she was informed of an issue regarding her appearance.
“He kind of blurted out that he wanted to discuss the elephant in the room,” McKinley said, “he was [talking about] my looks. He was wondering how I was going to handle that in a shelter full of men.”
Though the comment disconcerted her, she ultimately took the job. However, she quickly found that Moffitt would often bring up her appearance.
“Every discussion I had with him was all leading up to being closer and closer and closer together with him,” she recounted.
Over the next nine months, McKinley claims she experienced sexual harassment, discrimination and a hostile workplace. She also claims that Moffitt said that she was “too attractive” to be promoted. He also reportedly called her a “Jezebel,” a biblical evil spirit that causes chaos.
“He implied I had a spell over the building itself,” McKinley said. “That I made the confusion and the frustration and the arguments take place because of my ‘Jezebel spirit.’”
She eventually left the job.
Moffitt refused to comment on the claims to WDBJ7. His lawyer contacted reporters and said he denied all the allegations made against him by McKinley. However, reports from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that Moffitt did admit to saying that McKinley had a “Jezebel spirit.”
Tommy Strelka, McKinley's lawyer, hopes people will realize the gravity of the lawsuit.
“People who are willing to go through this are not looking for an easy dollar or a settlement,” Strelka told WDBJ7. “It’s the principle of what occurred and what they experienced has driven them to the point where they say, ‘No more!’ and have to do something about this.”
A judge reportedly sent a letter to both sides to schedule a trial date.
Photo Credit: WDBJ7 Screenshot