Bank teller fired for telling customers to 'have a blessed day'
A former bank teller based in Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Bank after being fired for telling customers to "have a blessed day."
Polly Neace was fired after repeated warnings, and accusations of customer complaints. The bank also said that Neace talked to a customer about salvation. Neace maintains that no customers complained.
The former Walton branch employee had worked for the bank for over 20 years. She said that she started saying "have a blessed day" to all of her customers beginning in 2009.
"I don't think there's any better kind of day you can have than a blessed day," she told Fox News.
In 2011, she was told to stop wishing customers a blessed day and was issued a Code of Ethics violation.
"Effective immediately you will no longer discuss the subject of faith or religion with customers and co-workers alike," the notice read.
The reprimand also alleged that Neace asked a customer: "Did you take the Lord's name in vain?" and began talking to the customer about Jesus.
Months later she was written up again after a customer wished her a blessed day and she replied: "Thank you, God bless you too."
Soon after, Neace reportedly complained about a situation at the bank and then joked with her supervisor about going back to saying "have a blessed day" and getting fired. A day after that, Neace was fired by the bank.
Her attorney, Jeff Blankenship, said that U.S. Bank's actions were a violation of her First Amendment rights.
"The proof in the record has shown that Polly was discharged because she insisted upon the right to say 'have a blessed day,'" he told Fox News.
"After she was initially written up for doing so, she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"She quit saying it. She quit telling people to 'have a blessed day,' but she complained several months later and said 'I might as well go back to telling people to have a blessed day.' The very next day she was terminated."
U.S. Bank said Neace's suit is meritless.
"At U.S. Bank, we hold our employees to high ethical standards when interacting with customers and co-workers, and take violations of these standards seriously," they said in a statement.
"While we cannot comment provide comment on pending litigation, we believe that this lawsuit is without merit and believe the facts presented in future legal proceedings will justify our actions."