ICC Note: Polly Neace, a bank teller from Kentucky, is suing her former employer, U.S. Bank for alleged religious discrimination. According to Neace, she has used the phrase, “have a blessed day,” for the past two years, but received a violation of ethics notice following alleged complaints from customers despite the fact that she had no knowledge of such complaints. The warning also accused Neace of accusing a customer of using the Lord’s name in vain, then attempting to openly share her faith with the individual. Neace denies these allegations. Later, in discussion with her employer about another matter, she jokingly stated that she “might as well go ahead and tell customers [to] have a blessed day.” Neace was terminated from her position the next day.
By Heather Clark
07/07/2014 United States (Christian News Network) – A bank teller in Kentucky has filed suit against her former employer after she claimed that she was fired for telling bank patrons to ‘have a blessed day.’
Polly Neace says that she used the phrase on the job for two years, but in 2011, she received a Code of Ethics violation notice from U.S. Bank in Walton, asserting that several customers had lodged a complaint. Neace says that she had never personally heard anyone complain about her well-wishes.
“I say ‘Have a blessed day’ all of the time,” she told local television station Fox 19. “I don’t think there’s any better kind of day you can have than a blessed day.”
The warning Neace received also claimed that the teller had asked a customer, “Did you take the Lord’s name in vain?” and that she urged the individual to find salvation in Christ. Neace denies the allegation.
“While you are entitled to your beliefs and we support that, you may not proselytize those beliefs in the workplace,” the written warning read. “Effective immediately, you will no longer discuss the subject of faith or religion with customers or co-workers. Religious items must be removed from the teller line where [they] can be seen by customers.”
Neace told reporters that the following year she was again reprimanded for saying “God bless you” to a client.
“A customer went through the drive thru and I waited on them,” she explained. She said, ‘God bless you.’ I said, ‘Thank you. God bless you, too.”
On several occasions, the teller complained to her employer as she believed that she was being targeted for her faith. Shortly after the 2012 incident, in expressing concern about another matter, she commented that she “might as well go ahead and tell customers [to] have a blessed day.” She was fired the following day.