Employee Placed On Leave For “God Bless America” E-mail Signature

They’re not being very forthright about why they placed this man on leave for his signature. He had a total of three different tags that he placed at the end of each of his e-mails. The one that was of concern was the one that read “God bless America.” The other two were “Excuses only satisfy the person making them” and “Change is either induced by inspiration or desperation.” Those were fine, but the one that mentioned God had to go.

Boots Hawks is a retired military veteran of twenty years, earning the rank of Sergeant First Class. He had been with the hospital for 10 years. ChristianNews.net noted that one year he had received the “Employee of the Year” award. They recounted what happened when Mr. Hawks was ordered to remove his “God bless America” e-mail tag:

The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) reports that Boots Hawks was called into his supervisor’s office at Dameron Hospital earlier this month and asked to remove the phrase from his email. While he complied with the directive, Hawks also told his supervisor that he wanted to consult with an attorney about his rights. Much to his surprise, Hawks was put on leave for “insubordination.” He returned to work this Wednesday [Nov. 13] to find that the combination on his lock had been changed and his computer password had been suspended.

This elicited some outrage from the public when the local media picked it up. That outrage caused the hospital to backpedal a little. They agreed to pay him for the days he was on leave and agreed that he wasn’t guilty of “insubordination.” However, they said that he was “disrespectful.” And the order to remove his “God bless America” tag still stood.

I used to work in an office (at a hospital, no less), and many employees had clever or “inspirational” tags at the end of their e-mails. Many of the tags mentioned God. Sometimes, an employee would even send out one of those mass-forwarded political e-mails. (I know, on company time.) If you were a conservative, you ignored the liberal ones. If you were a liberal, you ignored the conservative ones. No one cared.

I don’t understand what the big deal is. It’s not like this is some government agency, so they can’t use the “separation of Church and State” excuse.

Maybe the CEO of the hospital or someone in the administrative staff is an atheist, and he was offended by the word “God.” Whatever the case, I’m sure it stemmed from someone making a complaint about feeling offended by his tag.

Maybe they said it was racist. After all, asking God to bless America might indicate that you’re not currently satisfied with the direction America is heading. And who is President? A (half) black man. And who is asking God to bless America in his e-mail tags? An older, white military veteran. So there you go. He must be a racist, and this hospital does not tolerate hate-filled racism.