Nursery Worker

Christian Nursery Worker Wins Discrimination Case after Being Fired Over Anti-Gay Views

Nursery Worker

The Watford Employment Tribunal in England has ruled that a nursery worker was discriminated and unjustly dismissed from work after expressing her Christian anti-gay views.

31-year old Sarah Mbuyi filed the case last year against her former employer Newpark Childcare in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. Mbuyi’s dismissal was brought about by an incident with her lesbian co-worker who allegedly experienced harassment from her. The childcare institution conducted its own investigation which resulted to the sacking of Mbuyi on the grounds of gross misconduct.

According to The Blaze, the incident happened on January 6, 2014, when the colleague nursery worker approached Mbuyi opening up discussions about same-sex marriage and religion. The co-worker was said to be frustrated and angry because she and her partner are restricted to be married in a church. As a traditional and devoted Christian, Mbuyi replied that the bible sees homosexuality or gay relationships as a sin. She told her colleague that “God does not condone the practice of homosexuality, but does love you and says you should come to Him as you are”. Mbuyi added that “we are all sinners” and that “God offers forgiveness”.

On her legal battle, Sarah Mbuyi gained the support of the Christian Legal Center, a group that strongly supports freedom of individuals to act and voice out their faith even at the workplace. They believe that the nursery worker’s removal from work was a violation of the European Law on religious freedom.

During the proceedings, Mbuyi argued that she had only responded to the questions that her colleague has raised and that she answered according to her belief.

On the other hand, Newpark Childcare defended their decision to remove Mbuyi and argued that their actions are based on the institution’s existing policies. Newpark Childcare has an existing policy that “prohibits employees from expressing adverse views on homosexuality or the idea of describing homosexuality as a sin”. Newpark’s director Tiffany Clutterbuck cited that such rules and policies are geared towards the benefit of the children and staff for them to experience an all-inclusive and supportive environment.

In the end, the Tribunal ruled in favor of Sarah Mbuyi. Even if the childcare institution has proven that it is not anti-Christian, the nursery worker still experienced unfair treatment when she was dismissed from her job. The Tribunal believed that the investigation conducted by Newpark Childcare on Mbuyi’s gross misconduct offense was likely to be influenced by the institution’s stereotypical assumption of evangelical Christians.

The tribunal has also sided on Mbuyi’s explanation that it is not her intention to harass or force the Christian faith to her colleague and instead, Mbuyi has only responded to the questions or discussions brought up to her. The tribunal added that Mbuyi’s faith can be described as “worthy of respect in a democratic society” and in no way can be in “conflict with the fundamental rights of others”.

Although Newpark Childcare was disappointed with Tribunal’s ruling, Sarah Mbuyi still expressed her well wishes to the institution and to her former colleagues hoping that they will eventually understand that the nursery worker only had good intentions.


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