A US Court of Appeals has upheld Walmart’s firing of an employee who told colleagues that gays are sinners and are going to hell.
Tanisha Matthews, who worked as an overnight stocker at a WalMart store in Illinois, was on a break when she got into a heated discussion with co-workers about God and homosexuality.
At one point Matthews, an Apostolic Christian, screamed that gay should not “be on earth,” will “go to hell” and are not “right in the head.” A number of employees confirmed her statements.
The company fired her on the basis that she violated Walmart’s harassment policy, which includes sexual orientation.
Matthews sued, claiming that the company had violated her right to religious freedom, according to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, by firing her.
A district court and now an appeals court have disagreed that the company discriminated against her.
“If Matthews is arguing that Wal-Mart must permit her to admonish gays at work to accommodate her religion, the claim fails,” the appeals court ruled.
Walmart, the largest retailer and employer in the US, has previously come under fire from LGBT groups because of its lack of protection for LGBT staff.
Unions in South Africa are against Walmart’s planned $2,3-billion takeover of the country’s Massmart retailer, which owns discount brands such as Game, Dion and Builder’s Warehouse, citing the company’s treatment of workers in other countries.