Cynthia Fernandez had just started working as a toll booth operator in New Jersey, where she would frequently tell customers “God bless you” as they drove away.
“People would tell me I’m the friendliest toll booth worker they’ve met,” she said.
After three weeks, her boss told her to stop telling customers bless you.
“He said, ‘I don’t want you to say God bless you anymore. I don’t want you to offend anybody,’” Fernandez said.
Other toll booth workers did all sorts of inappropriate behavior, such as cursing and listening to the radio, but Fernandez was singled out for uttering the greeting. She was so upset that she quit.
Fernandez has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, saying her first amendment rights were violated.
The toll booth company said that Fernandez quit because she didn’t like her schedule and didn’t mention the incident in her resignation letter. But Fernandez said her boss told her to leave the incident out of the letter.
When did saying “God Bless” become offensive?