Pastor in discrimination case to collect $225,000
By Scott Barkley/Christian Index - Posted at Baptist Press:
ATLANTA (BP) -- A Georgia pastor fired from his government job over sermons alleged to be discriminatory will instead receive a $225,000 settlement from the state based on his own discrimination lawsuit.
In 2014 the State of Georgia's Department of Public Health hired Eric Walsh, a lay minister, to serve as a district health director. Walsh accepted the offer but not long thereafter state officials requested samples of Walsh's sermons and searched online for others. Days later Walsh received a voice message from the officials requesting to speak with him about the position. Unintentionally, Walsh later noted, he learned of his firing when the callers mistakenly thought the call had ended and could be heard laughing and using phrases such as "you're out" on the voicemail.
First Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit April 20, 2016, on Walsh's behalf, contending the state fired him because of the content of sermons he delivered as an ordained lay minister. See related story.
Thursday (Feb. 9), First Liberty Institute announced the settlement on behalf of their client.
"I am grateful this trial has finally ended," Walsh said. "It's been a long, difficult journey, but it's worth it to have my name cleared and to ensure that all Georgia government employees know they have religious liberty."
Read more here.
HT: Sermon Audio