In The Public Arena

ENGINEER FIRED BY FORD MOTOR COMPANY FOR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Attorneys Charge RGBSI and Ford Motor Company
with Unlawful Discrimination for Firing an Employee
Solely Based Upon His Religious Beliefs


At Issue: Freedom From Workplace Religious Discrimination

Case Status: Ongoing

Thomas Banks v. Rapid Global Business Solutions, Inc.
and Ford Motor Company


The Big Picture

Thomas Banks, a contractor with Ford Motor Company and Rapid Global Business Solutions, Inc., was fired last August after respectfully expressing his sincerely-held religious beliefs on sexuality in an online, intra-company forum. Little did he know that exercising his rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech would cost him his job. On July 10, 2015, with Liberty Institute and attorney Timothy Denney of Rickard, Denney, Garno & Associates in Lapeer by his side, Banks filed suit against his former employers.

Why This Case Matters

No one should be fired because of his or her faith. Firing a person for his or her sincerely-held religious beliefs is against the law in the United States, and employers are required by law to respect and, if need be, reasonably accommodate a person's religious beliefs. It is imperative that the unlawful action by this employer be addressed and corrected so that Mr. Banks receives justice, other employers don’t repeat this kind of violation, and employees are made aware of their religious rights on the job.

The Facts 

  • Around July 23, 2014, Mr. Banks received a company email sent to employees which lauded Ford’s policy to promote pro-homosexual ideas. In the comment section, Mr. Banks submitted a lone comment where he disagreed with Ford based on his biblical views.

  • On July 31, 2014, a short and cryptic e-mail from a Ford HR representative was sent to Mr. Banks asking to meet with him and “discuss something that was brought to my attention.”

  • On the morning of August 4, 2014, they met, and a Ford HR representative told Mr. Banks that he may have violated Ford’s anti-harassment policy, even though he only spoke to the company, about the company.

  • On the evening of August 4, 2014, a voice-mail informed Mr. Banks that he had been fired from Ford Motor Company and was not to return to work. “I was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment,” Mr. Banks said. “It felt like Ford was saying, ‘Even if you are respectful, your faith, and you as a Christian, are unwelcome at Ford.’”

  • On January 28, 2015, Liberty Institute—along with our volunteer attorney—filed a complaint on behalf of Mr. Banks with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), charging Ford Motor Company with religious discrimination and retaliation after the company fired Mr. Banks based on his religious beliefs. EEOC allowed Mr. Banks to proceed with his case. 

  • On July 10, 2015, with Liberty Institute and attorney Timothy Denney of Rickard, Denney, Garno and Associates in Lapeer by his side, Banks filed suit against his federal lawsuit against his former employers in the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division.

  • The case is now in the pre-trial stage of litigation.

What You Can Do

The battle to defend religious liberty in companies and organizations rages on, but we know we can win with the support of friends like you. When you stand with us and help fight back, you help achieve victories in the workplace—defending the freedom of religious expression for fellow Americans including Thomas Banks. Please donate now to help continue the fight and protect religious liberty in our nation—and if you or someone you know is experiencing workplace religious discrimination, please contact us today!


Case Files and Information

Original Complaint to EEOC, claiming Religious Discrimination (January 2015) - Link

Formal Lawsuit (July 2015) - Link


 

 

 

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