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Wal-Mart Right to Fire Antigay Worker

Wal-Mart Right to Fire Antigay Worker


Wal-Mart did not violate an employee's civil rights when the company fired her for making antigay comments to fellow worker, a federal appeals court ruled last week.

Tanisha Matthews was working as an overnight stocker from 1996 to 2005 in an Illinois Wal-Mart. One night during a break, the Apostolic Christian engaged in a conversation with other workers about homosexuality, debating whether LGBT people were headed to hell, according to Edge Chicago. Several witnesses said Matthews told a lesbian employee, Amy, that she was going to hell because God does not accept gay people.

After an internal three-month investigation by Wal-Mart, Matthews was fired for violating the chain's nonharassment policy. She countered by suing the company, claiming it had violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, by firing her based on her religious beliefs.

"Wal-Mart fired her because she violated company policy when she harassed a co-worker, not because of her beliefs and employers need not relieve workers from complying with neutral workplace rules as a religious accommodation if it would create an undue hardship," the U.S. seventh circuit court of appeals ruled Thursday.

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