(Photo: AP Images / WPTV NewsChannel 5)
A former Home Depot worker plans to sue the American retailer after he was fired for wearing a religious button.
Trevor Keezer, who wore a "One nation under God ... indivisible" button for over a year, was let go last week for violating the company's dress code.
"It feels kind of like a punishment, like I was punished for just loving my country," Keezer of Okeechobee, Fla., said, according to The Associated Press.
Since March 2008, Keezer has worn the button to support his brother who was headed for Iraq and to express his Christian faith. But it was when he began bringing his Bible to work to read during his lunch break that his manager confronted him, as reported by WPTV News Channel 5.
The 20-year-old employee, who was saving up for college, was told not to wear the button to work. He was offered other buttons sanctioned by the company, including one that states "United we stand," but Keezer refused them.
"You can't have a country without God," he recalled telling the manager, according to the local news channel.
Home Depot spokesman Craig Fishel explained that the issue is not whether they agree with the message on the button. The dress code states that only company-provided pins and badges can be worn on the work aprons, Fishel said, as reported by AP.
Keezer has hired Palm Beach attorney Kara Skorupa who plans to file a religious discrimination lawsuit next week.
"There’s nothing wrong with having a policy with a dress code," Skorupa told WPTV. "Obviously there are companies that have that and they should have that, but when you use that to punish someone because of their belief system then it becomes something else."
"There are federal and state laws that protect against religious discrimination. It's not like he was out in the aisles preaching to people," she added.
She also noted that the message on Keezer's button was taken straight out of the Pledge of Allegiance which is part of the United States' "historical fabric."