Women Fired for Wearing Cross to Work

A Kentucky woman who said she was fired from her job at a public library for wearing a necklace with a cross pendant to work had a lawsuit filed on February 1, 2002, on her behalf by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

In the U. S. District Court in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the suit was filed against the Logan County Public Library.  Kimberly Draper was hired to work at the front desk of the library and was given a dress code policy that read: “No clothing depicting religious, political or potentially offensive decoration is permitted.”

Such a policy infringes on employees constitutional rights claims Francis Manion, senior counsel for the ACLJ.

He said, “It is…troubling that the local library system would have in place a dress code policy that equates a religious symbol with being offensive.  We’re confident that the court will uphold the constitutional rights of our client and safeguard her right to express her religious belief in the workplace.”

In early April, a supervisor of Draper told her to remove the cross necklace.  The suit claims she continued to wear the cross after several warnings and was terminated for refusing to take the cross off on April 16, 2001.

Manion said, “it is unbelievable that you can be fired from a job for wearing a cross necklace.  That is exactly what happened in this case.  The pubic library system violated the free speech and free exercise of religious rights of our client.”

The ACLJ names as defendants the library director and assistant director, members of the Board of Trustees and the Logan County Public Library in the suit.  The First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution were violated by the wrongful termination of Draper according to the suit, and the court is requested to declare unconstitutional and illegal the library’s dress code.

(“Suit filed for cross-wearing employee.  Women allegedly fired from library job for not removing pendant,” WorldNetDaily.com, February 2, 2002) 


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