Just when you think it’s pretty bad…it gets worse
Let’s take up the case of Albert Buonanno:
An AT&T Broadband employee who was fired after refusing to abide by company rules that he said violated his religious beliefs about homosexuality has won a federal court case.
Judge Marcia S. Krieger of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado awarded Albert Buonanno of Denver $146,269 for lost salary, loss of 401(k) matching contributions and compensation for emotional distress in a Friday ruling released this week.
The judge found that although there was no direct religious discrimination against Mr. Buonanno, AT&T Broadband failed to show it could not have accommodated Mr. Buonanno’s beliefs “without undue hardship” to the company he had been with for nearly two years.
Mr. Buonanno objected to language in a new employee handbook issued in January 2001 that said “each person at AT&T Broadband is charged with the responsibility to fully recognize, respect and value the differences among all of us,” including sexual orientation. He was fired after refusing to sign a “certificate of understanding” acknowledging that he agreed to the policy.
Mr. Buonanno felt his Christian beliefs prevented him from valuing or agreeing with homosexuality, which he views as a sin, but he pledged not to discriminate against or harass anyone, said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, the group that represented Mr. Buonanno.
Ready for the punchline?:
The spokesman, who asked not to be named, said the company is reviewing the case and might appeal the ruling. Mr. Buonanno did not ask the court to reinstate him as a quota specialist, instead seeking monetary compensation. He now works for Mental Health Corporation of Denver as a counselor.