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June 24, 2005

Allstate fires employee for disagreeing with homosexual marriage on his own time

From WorldNetDaily:

A former manager with Allstate has sued the insurance giant, alleging the company, which financially supports homosexual advocacy groups, fired him solely because he wrote a column posted on several websites that was critical of same-sex marriage and espoused his Christian beliefs....

Though the column in question was written and posted in December, it wasn't until Jan. 31 that [J. Matt] Barber [a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division] was called into a meeting with two Human Resources officials, one of whom Barber says "slapped down" a printed copy of the column in front of him and asked if he had written it.

Recognizing the piece, Barber confirmed he had written it on his own time, at his home and on his own computer. Barber claims he was told, "Here at Allstate we have a very diverse community."

Barber says the Human Resources assistant vice president told him the column didn't reflect Allstate's view and that he was suspended with pay. Barber was immediately ushered off company grounds – "which was humiliating," the former employee said....

Three days later, on Feb. 3, Barber, who had worked for Allstate for five years, says he got a call informing him he was fired "for writing the article," he said. Now, with the help of the Christian Law Association and David Gibbs III, who represented Terri Schiavo's family in the final weeks of her life, Barber is challenging Allstate in federal court.

Barber maintains that the article was a reflection of his personal Christian beliefs, and that he had every right to both write it and to have it published. The article was written at his home, on his own time and never mentioned Allstate, directly or indirectly, let alone suggested that the company shared his beliefs.

According to an investigation by the state of Illinois' Department of Employment Security related to Barber's claim for unemployment benefits, an organization – likely a "gay"-rights group – complained to Allstate about the column. But how did the group connect Barber to the insurance company? It turns out one site that posted the column, MensNewsDaily.com, added to the bio line on the article the fact that Barber worked for Allstate.

Barber says he did not include that fact in the original column submission but that the site "disclosed that without my knowledge or consent." According to Barber, he is somewhat well-known in the boxing field in Chicago, and Allstate would sometimes tout the fact that he worked for the company.

Still, Barber nor the website claims that Allstate agreed or endorsed Barber's opinion. Allstate tried to prevent Barber from receiving unemployment benefits, but the state unemployment agency, after an investigation, agreed with Barber and allowed him the benefits. They also ruled that Barber did nothing wrong, since what he wrote was on his own time.

Since Allstate's foundation donates money to homosexual advocacy groups, it's obvious that their definition of “inclusive” is quite a bit skewed.

Coverage: Cao's Blog

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 24, 2005 09:31 AM

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Wow! If a homosexual Allstate employee wrote a letter that was anti-christian I can foretell the outcome...nothing!

Posted by: jeff keller at June 28, 2005 07:41 PM

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