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A symbol that represents hate speech: Supreme Court. A symbol that represents hate speech: Supreme Court.

Court rules against dismissed employee over swastika tattoo

The man demanded compensation for 'inconvenience, confusion, annoyance and hurt feelings'

The Supreme Court has refused to grant constitutional protection to a man who demanded compensation from a former employer who fired him for displaying a swastika tattoo.

The court voted unanimously on Wednesday to uphold the ruling of presiding judge Norma Piña Hernández, who determined that in today’s cultural environment, the swastika “represents [anti-Semitic] hate speech.”

Court documents state that the man’s coworkers, the majority of them Jewish, “felt offended, attacked or abused” from his first day on the job.

Also Jewish, the man’s boss stated he had “clearly defined convictions on the issue.”

The company had asked the man to cover or remove the tattoo in order to keep his job as invoice manager, but he refused.

“His contract was terminated, with severance, for which the complainant signed the respective resignation and settlement,” court documents indicated.

The man immediately filed a lawsuit against the company for moral damages, with the argument that he had been the victim of discrimination.

He claimed it had affected “legal assets of his personality,” having caused “inconvenience, confusion, annoyance and generally hurt his feelings.”

The company maintained that the Nazi symbol “represented anti-Semitic expression that signified hate and defeat for the Jewish community, and that such an image affected the dignity of the company’s employees and managers who belong to that community.”

Judge Piña ruled in favor of the company, rejecting the discrimination argument, calling the swastika an “apologia of hate.”

“The measures taken by the company in the name of human dignity and the security of its employees and managers were valid, reasonable and proportional,” read her ruling. “As such, they cannot constitute an act of discrimination against the complainant. Therefore, they do not define a legal right to compensation for moral damages.”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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