Monday, 18 April 2011
Just a bit silly?
Now, let's be clear that Mr Atkinson is not facing "persecution" for his Christian faith, he is facing disciplinary action because he refused to remove a personal item from the van at his employer's request. It is not a stipulation of the Christian faith that you should display a palm cross in your work vehicle, the vehicle is not private property and I guess the employer has the right to call the shots on this one.
That said, the complaint does seem extremely petty! I am not keen on anonymous complaints anyhow and there really are more important things in life than whether your builder has a palm cross on his dashboard! Such a complaint is arguably vexatious (especially as it was anonymous ) and it is ridiculous that such a trivial matter should be allowed to escalate to the level of disciplinary action involving termination of employment.
That said, it often takes two to tango; some might suggest that the mature way to respond might be for the employee to remove the cross. This is not to say that either Mr Atkinson or the employer tried to escalate the matter instead of finding reasonable ways to resolve it- it is for the courts to decide the rights and wrongs.
But, what a fuss and waste and time and money over an entirely trivial matter!