Can you mention God in the Workplace?
Having just below pointed out a situation where I think the CLC is wrong, let me highlight for you all a case that is being heard shortly where the Christian Legal Centre are bang on the nail.
In January of this year, Duke was helping a client with her housing situation. The client had seen various doctors who had told her that she had an incurable medical condition. Out of compassion for her, Duke commented that sometimes the doctors donâ€™t know everything â€“and encouraged her to consider putting her faith in God.
The client did not complain to Duke, but did go to his managers to report him. Two days later the managers knocked on Dukeâ€™s door as he was conducting another interview, asked him to finish up and then report to the Directorâ€™s office.
When he arrived, Duke was told that there had been a complaint and that he was being suspended with immediate effect. His pass was taken away and he was told not to make contact with any of his friends and colleagues or to come near the offices. He was then marched off the premises.
At CLC and CCFON we all believe, that this is one of the most appalling if not the most appalling case we have ever seen. The way Duke was treated anyone would think he had been caught viewing pornography on an office computer. Yet all Duke did was extend the hand of compassion to a fellow human being in distress. Whatâ€™s more, there was nothing in his employment contract to indicate that he was in any way not to speak about God.
Incredibly, when our solicitor who represented Duke in the initial meeting with the employer asked what would have happened if Duke had simply said â€˜God bless youâ€™ to a client, the spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said it would have been advisable not to say that either.
Duke Amachree, a gentle, intelligent and kind-hearted family man living in Britain in 2009 has been found â€˜guiltyâ€™ of an â€˜offenceâ€™ which would amaze a visitor from any previous time in the history of Christianity in this country. Out of compassion he offered the hope of God to a woman in need. He breached no part of his contract. Yet he was marched off the premises and, after a period of suspension, was dismissed.
Open and shut case methinks. No breach of contract and nothing in his terms of employment to suggest that he should be sacked simply for expressing an opinion that the client might think about turning to God. One might expect a quiet word with his manager if those in authority felt it was inappropriate to discuss such matters with his client, but summary suspension? Ridiculous.
Feels more like what use to happen under totalitarian communist regimes than in a friendly local council committed to “creating a fairer Britain”!
Just briefly as a counterpoint: am not going to identify my workplace or anything, but I have a colleague (and have had others in the past) who’ve put “God bless you” in birthday cards etc, and never has there even been a suggestion of action against them.
Sounds more than a little over-zealous to me…
in friendship, blair