Man, sacked for Facebook anti-religious post, is reinstated

Man, sacked for Facebook anti-religious post, is reinstated July 19, 2019
Image via Facebook

BRIAN Leach, above, the UK man sacked by supermarket chain Asda for sharing a video clip of the comedian Billy Connolly mocking religion on social media has been reinstated.

His dismissal last month caused nationwide outrage, and prompted the creator of Jesus and Mo to roundly mock the decision.

Leach was given the boot last month after a colleague complained that a sketch he shared, in which Connolly said “religion is over” and called suicide bombers “wankers”, was anti-Islamic.

He was employed as a checkout assistant at Asda’s Dewsbury store in West Yorkshire.

The National Secular Society has been in touch with Leach throughout an internal appeals process and has now learned that he has been given his job back.

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said the decision was:

A victory for common sense. We welcome Asda’s decision to reinstate Brian Leach, although this case raises broader concerns about the extent to which employers can legitimately restrict their employees’ freedom of expression on social media.

Leach had removed the relevant social media post and apologised to his colleagues before he was sacked.

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  • Duncan R. Bryson

    I’ve downloaded the cartoon. Love the punchline

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Leach had removed the relevant social media post and apologised to his colleagues before he was sacked.

    Sounds like a victory for the religious folks to me.

    HE removed the post.
    HE apologized.
    HE got sacked.
    Yes, he got un-sacked.
    Will someone apologize to him? I bet not.
    Will he reinstate the post? I bet not.

    They win.

  • persephone

    Their faith is so strong and sustains them through all manner of trials, but somehow fails when it comes to a comedy routine.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    God needs thicker skin.

  • WallofSleep

    I don’t think they’re worshiping the god they say they do…

    “Above all else, the devil can not stand to be mocked.”

    – C.S Lewis

  • Chris Hogue

    Asda can profit from a DVD, but fire an employee for posting a bit from it.

  • Broga

    Up to a point. I have sent the Billy Connolly brief rant to a dozen people who would not otherwise have heard it. With two exceptions I was met with thanks. The response has usually been laughter. I expect many will send it on.

  • kaydenpat

    Glad to hear that he was rehired. What an ordeal. This case may have a chilling effect on other employees, unfortunately.

  • Phil

    Don’t they know that blasphemy is not illegal in the UK. So what other non-criminal act can you get sacked for? Shopping in another supermarket?

  • Philip Buczko

    Over 10% of the population of Dewesbury is Asian, mostly Muslim, that’s about 200,000 potential shoppers (well about half of that as Asian men don’t do much shopping) so Asda was looking after it’s bottom line.

  • David Cromie

    This is the sort of bigotry one expects from Walmart, the world’s shittiest supermarket – surprise, surprise, Walmart own Asda (they are currently looking for a buyer for Asda, I believe).

  • David Cromie

    “They win”. No, not really, they just generated some free publicity for the Connolly DVD.