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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Cracow. An IKEA manager was accused of religious discrimination. There is a Supreme Court decision

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An IKEA employee posted a biblical quote on the internal forum about the “abomination” and “death penalty” for homosexual people. He was fired and accused the manager of religious discrimination. On Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed cassation appeals demanding the annulment of the acquittal. The matter of reinstating the employee to work is still pending.

Justifying this decision, Judge Marek Motuk emphasized that cassation appeals by the prosecutor’s office and the subsidiary prosecutor – the Institute Ordo Iuris – in this case they were considered obviously groundless for formal and legal reasons. According to the Supreme Court, the allegations in the cassation appeal were incorrectly formulated and their content indicates a misunderstanding of the essence of the cassation proceedings.

– In fact, the prosecutor’s cassation is a repetition of the prosecutor’s appeal. (…) The same applies to the cassation appeal of the subsidiary prosecutor’s representative, said Judge Motuk in his oral justification. As he added, the allegations from the complaints are on the verge of admissibility. – They are also groundless because they are addressed primarily to the court of first instance, and not to the court of appeal – emphasized the judge.

Commenting on the verdict in an interview with PAP, the acquitted woman expressed satisfaction and contentment. – I feel great that it’s finally over after four years. There is great relief and joy. I’m happy, she said.

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Read also: “You cannot quote passages from the Holy Scriptures without justification.” Dispute over an Ikea employee

Entry on the internal network

The case is related to the events of May 2019, when the store posted a message regarding the “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia”. Then, in the internal communication network, one of the employees of the Krakow store wrote: “Accepting and promoting homosexuality and other deviations is sowing scandal,” and then quoted verses from the Holy Scripture.

These are the fragments: “Woe to him through whom offenses come; it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and sink him into the depths of the sea” and “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a man, as he has sexual intercourse with a woman, commits an abomination. Both of them will be punished.” death, and their blood shall be upon them.”

A few days later the man was released. The case went to court. The prosecutor’s office accused the manager of the human resources department of the Krakow IKEA store of religious discrimination. In February 2022, the District Court of Kraków Nowa Huta acquitted the woman. In December, this judgment was upheld by the District Court in Kraków. The prosecutor’s office and the subsidiary prosecutor appealed against this ruling to the Supreme Court. In 2022, a court in Krakow illegally reinstated the dismissed IKEA employee. The labor court found the termination of the employment relationship unlawful. As PAP found out, an appeal was filed against this ruling. The Krakow court is expected to decide it in November.

Wednesday’s decision to dismiss the cassation appeal in this case was issued by the Supreme Court, composed of three judges: Adam Roch, Marek Motu and Paweł Kołodziejski.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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