California hospital suspends veteran for ‘God Bless America’ email signature
November 18, 2013
A Stockton hospital suspended a 10-year employee and military veteran on the Friday before Veterans Day for using “God Bless America” as his email signature. [ABC 10]
Boots Hawk served as an Army soldier for 20 years prior to taking a job as a quality analyst at Dameron Hospital in Stockton.
Just days before Veterans Day, Hawks supervisor asked him to remove “God Bless America” from his email signature. Hawk complied but told the supervisor he would consult an attorney about his right to keep the phrase on his emails.
When Hawk arrived at work the next day, he found that the combination on his locker had changed and his computer password was no longer working. The hospital then placed him on leave for insubordination just prior to Veterans Day weekend.
Hawk is now seeking legal action and has retained the Pacific Justice Institute, which wrote a letter to the hospital on his behalf demanding an apology.
“I think Dameron provides fantastic care to people and I hate to see bad publicity,” Hawk said. “I just see that we need to have justice done.”