By Jeff Schapiro/Christianpost.com
A Christian mental health worker in England claims in a lawsuit that she was disciplined and eventually fired from her job with a National Health Service trust after sharing a pro-life booklet with a co-worker.
Margaret Forrester was fired from the North West London NHS Trust several months after giving a colleague the booklet, which contained stories written by both women who have experienced psychological damage as the result of having an abortion and by the grandmothers of aborted children. Forrester and her attorneys from the Thomas More Legal Centre, a legal charity that offers its services in religious discrimination cases, are now accusing her former employers of violating her freedom of religion and freedom of expression rights.
Forrester, who is Roman Catholic and formerly served as a “psychological well-being practitioner” for the trust, was allegedly called into a meeting with management about a week after handing her co-worker the booklet in early November 2010. She was then “interrogated in a demeaning manner about the booklet and her pro-life views,” the lawsuit claims, and was suspended from her work.
When she returned to work a week later, she was allegedly told to do “demeaning” tasks and was not permitted to do any clinical work. She claims the stress she experienced “from the harassment she was subjected to” even forced her to take some days off from work.
In early December she was called into another meeting where she told management that, given the opportunity to do it again, she would still give her colleague the booklet. In late January she was found guilty of “gross misconduct” for giving away the booklet and “gross insubordination” for saying she would do it again. She was also accused of distributing information that “individuals may find offensive” in an earlier meeting, the suit claims, and it was made clear during the disciplinary procedure that Forrester’s employers opposed the booklet because it was “religious in tone.”