Poland: IKEA director charged after firing employee who refused to participate in LGBT events

In May 2019, an IKEA worker published two Bible quotes in his workplace’s intranet after his employer instituted a day-long event entitled “solidarity with LGBT excluded persons day”. The man was fired for the posts.

The IKEA human resources director, who made the decision to fire the worker, has now been charged with restricting the employee’s rights and discriminating against their beliefs.

The IKEA director is currently facing a fine and incarceration of up to two years for discriminating against the IKEA employee.

According to Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Romanowski, the prosecutor’s office decision was “very good and expected” and Romanowski listed the articles of the Polish constitution which protect freedom of belief and their expression, as well as employee rights.

Romanowski emphasized that every employer, including international companies, is obligated to respect the privacy of its workers, avoid ideological actions towards them, respect their right to freedom of expression, and to not discriminate against workers due to their worldviews.

“We will not permit for Poles to have to hide their faith. We will not allow for the dictatorship of relativism. There will be no ideological agenda in workplaces,” the minister declared.

According to one of the Warsaw prosecutor’s offices, the IKEA store involved in the case had made a “solidarity with LGBT excluded persons day”.

The man who was fired had taken leave in order to not participate in the event and quoted the Bible in a comment under an article entitled “Accepting LGBT is the responsibility of every one of us”.

The prosecutor’s office spokesman Marcin Saduś listed the two Bible quotes:

“Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come,” and “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination”.

The prosecutor’s office declared that the decision to fire the worker was due to the prejudices of the IKEA representative towards the employee.

The quotes were determined to not have been an attack on any particular co-worker but instead a response to the employer’s decision to hold an ideologically-driven event at the IKEA store.


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