Home Depot fires cashier over 'God' button

A former cashier for The Home Depot who has been wearing a "One nation under God" button on his work apron for more than a year has been fired, he says because of the religious reference. The company claims that expressing such personal beliefs is simply not allowed.

"I've worn it for well over a year and I support my country and God," Trevor Keezor said Tuesday. "I was just doing what I think every American should do, just love my country."

The American flag button Keezer wore in the Florida store since March 2008 says "One nation under God, indivisible."

Earlier this month, he began bringing a Bible to read during his lunch break at the store in the rural town of Okeechobee, about 140 miles north of Miami. That's when he says The Home Depot management told him he would have to remove the button.

Keezer refused, and he was fired on Oct. 23, he said.

"It feels kind of like a punishment, like I was punished for just loving my country," Keezer said.

A Home Depot spokesman said Keezer was fired because he violated the company's dress code.

"This associate chose to wear a button that expressed his religious beliefs. The issue is not whether or not we agree with the message on the button," Craig Fishel said. "That's not our place to say, which is exactly why we have a blanket policy, which is long-standing and well-communicated to our associates, that only company-provided pins and badges can be worn on our aprons."

Fishel said Keezer was offered a company-approved pin that said, "United We Stand," but he declined.

Keezer's lawyer, Kara Skorupa, said she planned to sue the Atlanta-based company.

"There are federal and state laws that protect against religious discrimination," Skorupa said. "It's not like he was out in the aisles preaching to people."

Keezer said he was working at the store to earn money for college, and wore the button to support his country and his 27-year-old brother, who is in the National Guard and is set to report in December for a second tour of duty in Iraq.

Skorupa noted the slogan on Keezer's pin is straight from the Pledge of Allegiance.

"These mottos and sayings that involve God, that's part of our country and historical fabric," Skorupa said. "In God we trust is on our money."

Michael Masinter, a civil rights and employment law professor at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, said any lawsuit over religious discrimination might be a tough one to win.

"Because it's a private business, not one that's owned and operated by the government, it doesn't have to operate under the free speech provisions of the First Amendment," Masinter said.

"But we're not talking about religious displays here," he said. "This sounds more like a political message ... Wearing a button of that sort would not easily be described as a traditional form of religious expression like wearing a cross or wearing a yarmulke."


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daytraderdee2

I am tired of this political correctness, this is an American Co. and if they can't support our God and Country, then we should out sauce them. Every employee should wear the God and Country button. Then you will see how the Co. reacts, fire them all and lose money or close their eyes and let it be.

January 15 2014 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kenbruss

Besides posting here, We each need to google the CEO of Home Depot and state our case by voting with our feet. I googled it and the CEO email is: Frank_Blake@homedepot.com.

Hello Lowes, Menards, etc. but perhaps we need to understand their requirements as well. I grew up when a person who wore the flag pin was hailed as patriotic. All this political correctness has nuetered American patriotism and religious freedom if you're a Christian.

October 18 2011 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fishgirl

Well, maybe ALL of the Home Depot workers should be forced to remove ALL of their buttons from their aprons or be fired. Some wear so many they all blend into one big 'blob' of pins, you can't even tell what they say unless you look closely at them - WHO CARES. Guess I'll be shopping at Lowe's - and spreading the word about this story!

October 18 2011 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shopper

It's always Florida...

October 18 2011 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shopper

It's always Florida....

October 18 2011 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jdb1955

As a customer of HD I am appalled at this action. This action will result in me stopping at competitors and purchasing from HD only as a last resort. Any restrictions on displaying an American Flag means that the employer is Un-American and does not deserve my business.

October 18 2011 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Sal Bonsangue

Hello Lowes, goodbye Home Depot (or maybe despots). Have you ever noticed that "In God We Trust" is written on all American currency. The same currency you gladly take from your American customers. Doesn't 99% of the world believe in God. Mr. Keezor's button only reflected his love for this great country and of God. The button did not specify whether his God was christian, jewish, muslim or buddist, so what's the beef? You offended the 1% who are atheists? Home Depot has lost my business. In my neighborhood Lowes is right next door with the same prices.

October 18 2011 at 9:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
MGK

Home Depot is weird like that. They have a flag hanging out front that says the same words, but someone can't wear a pin that says that. What is this world coming to "u'all.
The management knew about his pin. You can't say, they didn't pay any attention for a year. What I think happened is this. The bible reading affended someone during lunch, but they didn't want to admit it and wouldn't admit it. So to save the name of the person who reported him for reading his bible, they made a issue out of it. And firing is what happened in the end.

September 21 2010 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fran Marie

But homosexuals can wear their Gay Pride buttons and it doesn't violate the dress code....Hmmmmmm AND Home Depot supports and funds MANY LGBT events and parades!

If you call them they say it''s al a lie but all you have to do is GOOGLE it! Not to mention I have several pictures of LGBT PRINTED right ON THEIR APRONS!!!

STOP THE HYPOCRISY!!

August 26 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Alicia Kerns

My husband and I will never shop there again. That wasn't right, firing that employee for wearing his button. What happened to freedom of religion?

August 18 2010 at 11:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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