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The Woman Who Got Fired for Flipping Off Trump Isn't Done Yet

The viral cyclist is now suing her old company for wrongful termination.
April 5, 2018, 6:20pm

Juli Briskman, the cyclist who was fired after a photo of her flipping off Trump's motorcade went viral, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, the Washington Post reports.

Last October, Briskman was biking back to her home in Sterling, Virginia, when Trump's presidential motorcade sped past her on its way from Trump National Golf Course in DC. Recognizing the unique opportunity she was in, Briskman decided to let Trump know exactly how she felt about his presidency—by flipping him the bird.

What she didn't know is that a Getty photographer was also in the motorcade, and captured Briskman's one-finger salute in a photo that quickly blew up online. When Briskman realized that her tiny moment of rebellion had become an internet sensation, she figured it'd be best to let her work know about it. Unfortunately, her bosses at Akima LLC, a government contractor, weren't particularly pleased about their employee's newfound viral fame, and she was fired.

Now, Briskman is suing Akima for allegedly violating Virginia law by forcing her to resign out of fear that the photo would put their governmental contracts at risk.

"Working for a company that does business with the federal government should provide you with greater opportunities, but it should never limit your ability to criticize that government in your private time," Briskman said in a statement. "The actions of my company were swift and unexpected. It is un-American to let the government use your own tax dollars to buy your off-duty obedience."

Briskman's suit argues that Virginia law and the First Amendment give her the right to flip off the president, and she is seeking a total of $2,692.30 from Akima to reimburse her for legal fees and finally give her the long-overdue severance Akima allegedly promised when she was let go.

That's a pretty small sum of money, especially since Briskman wound up with over $100,000 thanks to a GoFundMe established in her name. But it's not really about the cash. It's about being able to waggle your middle finger at Trump whenever you get the chance without having to stress about losing your job along the way.

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