Navajo Cites Religious Bias In His Firing

April 22, 2010

Author: Victoria Prieskop

Source: Courthouse News Service

A Navajo welder and member of the Native American Church says he was fired after his company's human resources director told him "that he was in a cult and worshipped the devil." 

Clyde Blackwater sued Process Equipment & Service Co. (PESCO) for religious discrimination in Federal Court.

"In or about June 2008, Mr. Blackwater was called to PESCO's Human Resources office and questioned about his religious beliefs by Human Resources Director Chris Wray," according to the complaint. "Mr. Blackwater responded by explaining that he was a member of the Native American Church of North America and he explained some of its beliefs and practices.

"Mr. Wray then asked Mr. Blackwater if he believed in God and that 'Jesus Christ died for our sins.' Mr. Blackwater responded that he simply came to work at PESCO to make a living for himself and his family.