Georgia news reports that Atlanta’s fire chief has filed a complaint for discrimination after he was terminated following a controversy over a religious book he wrote. In the book, he denigrated homosexuality. He claimed his views were based on religious beliefs. He further asserts that he was terminated in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition against religious discrimination.
Pursuant to Title VII, you employer may not discriminate against you “because of” your religious beliefs, harass you because of your religious beliefs, or retaliate against you for complaining about religious discrimination or for participating in someone else’s religious discrimination case.
In this instance, the police chief self-published a book containing controversial passages condemning homosexuality. He was suspended following the book’s publishing, and subsequently was terminated. According to the former mayor, “The book expresses my deeply held religious convictions on many subjects” and that “I believe that I have been discriminated against because of my religion – Christian.”
However, for its part the city is investigating whether the mayor’s publishing and distributing of the book violate city non-discrimination policies, and that the decision to terminate the former mayor was based on his judgment and management skills, rather than religious discrimination.
This case raises many thorny employment law issues. As employment lawyers committed to ending work place discrimination, we will be following this case closely.
For more information, or if you believe that you may have suffered any form of discrimination at work, please contact the experienced Georgia employment discrimination lawyers at the Buckley Law Firm, LLP for an immediate case evaluation.