Background

Around July 23, 2014, Mr. Banks received a company email sent only to employees, which lauded Ford’s policy regarding sexuality. In the comment section, Mr. Banks submitted alone comment where he disagreed with Ford based on his biblical views.

Banks received an email from a Ford HR representative on July 31, 2014, asking Banks to meet and “discuss something that was brought to my attention.” They met on the morning of August 4, 2014, and Banks was told that he may have violated Ford’s anti-harassment policy, even though he only spoke within the company, about the company.

That same evening, 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, First Liberty Institute, along with volunteer counsel, 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.

With First Liberty Institute and attorney Timothy Denney of Rickard, Denney, Garno, and Associates in Lapeer, MI by his side, Banks filed a lawsuit against his former employers on July 10, 2015, in the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division.

The matter has been resolved.

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2015

Contact: Gregg Wooding, gwooding@libertyinstitute.org

Cell: 214.558.9455, Office 972.941.4453

LIBERTY INSTITUTE FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST FORD MOTOR COMPANY IN CASE OF SAVING MR. BANKS

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


YPSILANTI, MI, Jan. 28, 2015 – Today, Liberty Institute filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Ford Motor Company and RGBSI on behalf of its client, Thomas Banks. Mr. Banks is a former employee of Ford and RGBSI. He was fired for writing a single comment about a company policy based on his religious beliefs.

As the charge of discrimination explains, Ford and RGBSI discriminated against—indeed, terminated—Mr. Banks based upon his religious beliefs in clear violation of federal law, which prohibits discrimination against employees on the basis of faith.

“We are shocked that Ford Motor Company would terminate one of their employees simply because he expressed his faith,” said Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute Director of Litigation. “If Ford is allowed to get away with firing Mr. Banks over this comment, we fear that every person of faith will be punished for talking about his or her faith in the workplace. At Ford, if you speak about your faith as it relates to the company, even to the company, you may be terminated.”

In July 2014, Mr. Banks received a newsletter from Ford, which shared its policy to promote pro-homosexual ideas. In the feedback section, Mr. Banks submitted a single comment, addressed to Ford, disagreeing with Ford’s policy based on his biblical views. On August 4, a Ford HR representative called Mr. Banks into a meeting and told Mr. Banks he may have violated Ford’s anti-harassment policy. Later that day, Ford terminated Mr. Banks.

Mr. Banks said, “I was stunned to realize that I was fired over expressing my faith in a single comment. It felt like Ford was saying, ‘even if you are respectful, your faith, and you as a Christian, are unwelcome at Ford.’”

Sasser added, “This is not just a case of Ford discriminating against people of faith. They broke multiple federal laws, from the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and they must be held accountable.”

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About First Liberty

Liberty Institute is a nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, military, churches, and workplaces. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.

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