Georgia Denies Public Health Official Top Post For His Religious Faith

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from Liberty Institute,

Eric Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. Charges State of Georgia with Unlawful Religious Discrimination, Retaliation in Filing of EEOC Complaint

Liberty Institute and Parks, Chesin & Walbert, attorneys for Dr. Eric Walsh, a leading public health expert, who holds both a medical degree and Ph.D. and serves as lay minister with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, filed an official charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Georgia Department of Health offered Dr. Walsh a job in May, which he accepted, announced his employment publicly, but then top officials laughed about their decision to terminate his position as Director of Public Health for the region of northeast Georgia based upon Dr. Walsh’s religious beliefs. Listen to the voicemail here:

“No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs,” said Andrew Coffman, partner in the law firm of Parks, Chesin & Walbert and a Liberty Institute volunteer attorney. “In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing his religious beliefs—especially when that expression takes place at church. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s workforce.”

Dr. Walsh, among the first of his family to go to college, was eminently qualified to lead the Georgia Department of Health, but has now been effectively blacklisted by the Georgia Department of Health because of religious messages he gave as a lay minister. According to the Charge of Discrimination filed today with the EEOC, Dr. Walsh was the focus of California activists, dissatisfied with his selection as a speaker at the graduation ceremony for Pasadena City College. A mean-spirited campaign that intentionally twisted Dr. Walsh’s religious beliefs ultimately resulted in his forced resignation as the Director of Public Health for the City of Pasadena.

“This kind of intolerance has no place in today’s workforce,” stated Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for Liberty Institute. “People of faith ought to be respected at work, not fired for expressing their religious beliefs at church.”

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