The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Wal-Mart worker who sued the company after she was fired for an anti-gay diatribe against homosexuality during a work break, Gay City News reports:
According to the unsigned ruling, Tanisha Matthews, who describes herself as an Apostolic Christian, worked as an overnight stocker at a Wal-Mart store in Joliet, Illinois. While on a break, she took part in a heated conversation with other employees about God and homosexuality.
Another employee who participated reported to management that Matthews was "screaming over her" that God does not accept gays, they should not "be on earth," and they will "go to hell" because they are not "right in the head." During a company investigation of the incident, five other employees confirmed that Matthews said gays are sinners who are going to hell.
Wal-Mart managers considered these remarks to be "serious harassment" in violation of the company's "Zero Tolerance" harassment policy, which bars any conduct that could be interpreted as harassment on the basis of categories that include sexual orientation. Serious harassment is considered "gross misconduct" that is grounds for dismissal.
Matthews sued, claiming religious discrimination in violation of the 1964 Act. She pointed out that her work record up until then had been satisfactory, so it was clear she was fired for her religiously-based statements about gay people.
Wal-Mart Harassment Policy Trumps Religious Bigotry [gay city news]
Watch: Janet Napolitano Tells Walmart Shoppers to Look for 'Suspicious' Activity in Video to Air at Checkout Counter
If you see something suspicious in the parking lot or in the store, say something immediately. Report suspicious activity to your local police or sheriff. If you need help, ask a Walmart manager for assistance," says Janet Napolitano in a new DHS video:
"It's part of a new Department of Homeland Security program that could see Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's face on video screens in malls, retail outlets and hotels across the United States. The Walmart video, which will soon be launched at 230 locations nationwide and may eventually be expanded to nearly 600 locations in 27 states, features Napolitano thanking the retailer by name for participating in the program."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
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"Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has 'more work to do in furthering equality.' It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere. Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies. Also in the red: Toys R Us, RadioShack (RSH) and AutoZone (AZO). Wal-Mart rival Target rated a 'green' 80, meaning that 'consumers should make every effort to support these businesses.' Wal-Mart has bucked a corporate trend of expanding benefits for gay employees, says Daryl Herrschaft, director of HRC's workplace project."