Monday, April 11, 2016

British Employment Appeal Tribunal Upholds Warning To Proselytizing Supervisor

In Wasteney v. East London NHS Foundation Trust, (UK EAT, April 7, 2016), the British Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rejected a religious discrimination claim brought by the Head of Forensic Occupational Therapy at a public sector mental health clinic who described herself as a born again Christian.  She was issued a written warning for proselytizing a young Pakistani Muslim occupational therapist whom she supervised.  She gave the Muslim woman a book about another Muslim Pakistani woman who had converted to Christianity; during a one-on-one meeting prayed for the Muslim woman by laying hands on her; and invited the Muslim woman to various Christian church events. In upholding the finding of the Employment Tribunal (ET), the EAT said in part:
The ET did not find that the Respondent had pursued disciplinary action against the Claimant and imposed a warning on her because of or for reasons related to her sharing of her faith with a consenting colleague.  It expressly found that the Respondent took the actions it did because the colleague in question had made serious complaints about acts which blurred professional boundaries and placed improper pressure on that colleague.
Christian Post reporting on the decision quotes this reaction from the supervisor who lost her appeal:
I believe the NHS singled me out for discipline because Christianity is so disrespected. Previously a Christian worship service that I set up for patients was closed down, but accommodation for Muslims to practice their faith wholly facilitated and encouraged.