A man who was fired for refusing to wear a sticker that had the number “666” printed on it will sue the factory at which he worked.
The man feared that he would “summon the beast” and be doomed to eternal hell if he wore the sticker. The sticker was intended to celebrate 666 days of an accident-free work zone.
Billy Hyatt, a devout Christian, expressed concern to his boss at Berry Plastics Corp. – a manufacturing plant in Georgia – that he wouldn’t be able to wear the sticker. His boss assured Hyatt that he wouldn’t have to wear it.
When the day came in March 2009, however, Hyatt’s boss told him that he had to wear the sticker. When Hyatt protested, his boss allegedly ridiculed his fear and told him to put the sticker on or face a three-day suspension.
Hyatt elected to take the three-day suspension but was fired a few days later after meeting with company officials. Hyatt proceeded to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which then granted permission in August for him to sue the company.
Hyatt had been at the company for two years before he was fired. Every member of the workforce is required to wear stickers that declare how long the workplace has been accident free.
The lawsuit claims that Hyatt was forced to choose between his job and his religious beliefs. That decision should never have to be made, attorneys said.
The company has yet to respond to a claim in court.
It is not uncommon for people to be afraid of the number 666 or the sequence of three sixes. The fear can be so intense that it infringes on sufferers’ lives. This phobia is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia.
The number is “the mark of the beast” in the Book of Revelations, a biblical section that describes the Apocalypse.