Florida Employer Denies Anti-Christmas Firing
Tonia Thomas of Pensacola,Florida alleges she was fired for wishing customers a "Merry Christmas". Her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., said she wasn't fired for saying "Merry Christmas," but would not elaborate, other than to say she is a disgruntled former employee.
The company wanted her to say answer the phone "Happy Holidays".
Tonia Thomas, 35, said she refused to say "Happy Holidays" and was fired, even after offering to use the company's non-holiday greeting. The Panama City woman filed a federal complaint that accuses the company of religious discrimination. She is seeking compensation for lost wages.
"I hold my core Christian values to a high standard and I absolutely refuse to give in on the basis of values. All I wanted was to be able to say 'Merry Christmas' or to acknowledge no holidays," she said Tuesday. "As a Christian, I don't recognize any other holidays."
Thomas said she is Baptist.
Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based legal group that advocates for people discriminated against because of their religion, is representing Thomas before the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Their complaint also accuses the company of harassing and taunting Thomas after she was fired by calling the police to watch her pack her belongs and leave.
Apparently neither side will be wishing the other "Happy New Year!"