A psychiatrist employed by the Iowa Department of Human Services who was fired for signing his emails with “In Christ” lost his First Amendment lawsuit against the state.
Michael Mial alleged that, in a performance review, his superiors told him the patients he treated at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders appreciated his Christian faith, the Daily Caller reported.
But his bosses then told him to stop using “In Christ” as his personalized work email signature.
Mial argued in court that the signature does not constitute a state establishment of religion. And he charged that he was unconstitutionally barred from exercising his faith.
But a Sioux City federal jury ruled Wednesday that the Iowa DHS did not fail to accommodate his Christian faith.
The Sioux City Journal said Mial also had argued that state employees were not disciplined for using personalized signatures such as “Go Hawkeyes,” referring to University of Iowa athletic teams.
The court dismissed his claims for lost compensation and damages for embarrassment, emotional pain, mental anguish, humiliation and suffering.