Ex-state worker loses lawsuit over religious accommodation
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former state of Iowa worker who’d used the words “In Christ” in his work emails has lost his lawsuit against the state.
The Sioux City Journal reports that a federal jury in Sioux City found Wednesday that the state Department of Human Services did not fail to accommodate Michael Mial’s religious practices. Mial sued the department and several individuals at the sex offender unit in Cherokee in January 2017, saying his firing violated his rights to free speech and religion.
The lawsuit said Mial, a psychiatric security specialist, was fired in April 2016 after a performance review in which supervisors told him his religious faith was beneficial to patients at the sex offender unit. But they asked him to keep his religion separate from his work because he’d been using “In Christ” in the personalized signature block that appeared in internal emails sent to other employees.