A Christian graphic designer who sued a hotel claiming he was denied a job there because of his faith has settled out of court. The case is drawing interest from groups that are documenting increased workplace discrimination against Christians in Europe as well as America.
Jamie Haxby won a verdict after claiming that a manager at Prested Hall Hotel turned him down for a job because some staff who are atheists wouldn’t work with a Christian.
Under the settlement, the hotel is making an undisclosed payment to a non-profit air ambulance service, and Haxby has withdrawn his court suit.
Legal experts say the case was unprecedented, as it had simply arisen because Haxby is a committed Christian.
In March last year, Haxby filed a workplace discrimination complaint with the East London employment tribunal, saying, “I have been unlawfully discriminated against for reasons relating to my Christian faith.”
The hotel disputed the claim, alleging that the job was given to a more experienced candidate.
According to Haxby, hotel manager Celie Parker interviewed him on Dec. 4, 2012, for a part-time job to design promotional material.
During the interview, Haxby says that she noted his portfolio contained previous work samples he had done for churches.
Haxby claims that Parker then told him other people on her team were atheists and that they could never work with a committed Christian.
Haxby said he could hardly believe what he heard and that he felt angry and upset.
“I was not the kind of person who would preach at people or make them feel uncomfortable,” he said.
Haxby stated in his claim that Parker finally expressed regret for asking him to the interview and apologized for wasting his time.
Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute which fights workplace discrimination and supported Haxby, says, “Our laws are designed to protect religious freedoms. It’s important that people are able to exercise these freedoms, whether it be in their workplace or anywhere else.
“I’m glad Jamie was able to stand by his beliefs and that the case was forced to settle out of court.”