65-year-old nurse sues Denver Health hospital, alleges she was fired for supporting Trump

A former Denver Health Medical Center nurse filed a lawsuit Jan. 11 against hospital officials alleging she was fired from her position in 2016 after voicing support for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, The Denver Post reports.

Lizzy Mathews, RN, filed a federal lawsuit last week against the health system and two nursing officials. The lawsuit claims she was the subject of discrimination after voicing her support for President Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

According to the lawsuit, Ms. Mathews, 65, was tending to a patient Sept. 10, 2016. The patient, who was previously a high-ranking hospital employee, reportedly asked Ms. Mathews who she thought would win the election. She replied she was "praying" for President Trump to win, the lawsuit states.

Three days later on Sept. 13, Ms. Mathews claimed she received a phone call from a hospital official who said she had received a complaint from the patient with whom Ms. Mathews spoke about the election.

The lawsuit states the hospital official proceeded to fire Ms. Mathews during the phone call because of her comment about President Trump and her unwillingness to work more hours as a part-time nurse, according to Fox-31 News. Ms. Mathews said she had previously spoken to the same hospital official about not being able to work more hours as a part-time employee because it would affect her Social Security benefits.

The lawsuit states the official document discussing her termination said she was fired for "other reasons." Ms. Mathews claims she did not have access to the document until January 2017, according to The Denver Post.

Ms. Mathews' lawsuit states Denver Health does not have policies in place preventing employees from engaging in politically-based communications. The complaint also notes no other employees besides Ms. Mathews were disciplined for engaging in political discussion, Fox-31 News reports.

In a statement to Fox-31 News, a spokesperson for Denver Health said, "As a matter of policy, Denver Health does not comment on pending litigation. As a public hospital, Denver Health has a proud history of diversity and inclusiveness and is welcoming to all. We have staff members from a variety of backgrounds with a variety of beliefs and work diligently to ensure Denver Health continues to provide an environment in which everyone can feel comfortable delivering or receiving our world-class care."

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Denver Health for comment and will update the article as more information becomes available.

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