UK Christian Appeals Decision in Sunday Work Case

A Christian worker in England who was fired for refusing to work on Sundays for religious reasons took his case to a Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

Stephen Copsey, 33, of Norfolk, England, who said his former company treated his religious views with “contempt,” lost his job as a supervisor at a quarry in 2002 after 14 years of service.

An employment tribunal had earlier ruled in favor of the company. However, Copsey appealed the decision by pointing toward other cases where Muslims and Jews were protected by the European Convention's religious freedom rights.

“There are striking similarities between this case and the treatment in Soviet Russia of Jewish refugees and Christians who sustained economic hardship for practicing their faith,” said Paul Diamond, the lawyer representing Copsey.

Copsey, who says he is a devout Christian, says that he should receive the same rights as Jews, Muslims, and Hindus.

A representative for WBB Devon Clays, the company who fired Copsey, said that the employment tribunal had noted that the first occasion Copsey suggested a religious reason for not working was two years after Sunday work came into effect, according to the BBC.

The decision by the employment tribunal was that the only reason Copsey was fired was for not wanting to work on a seven-day shift pattern, not because of his religious beliefs.

Copsey is seeking $124,000 in damages on grounds that he was discriminated against and that his human rights to practice his religion were violated.

A decision by the Court of Appeal will come at a later date.