Boots Hawks is a 20-year military veteran who works at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, California. The hospital calls itself an independent, “not-for-profit,” ”non sectarian,” “202-bed community hospital” governed by a seven-person board of directors and a 20-member board of membership.
His supervisors ordered him to remove the phrase “God Bless America” from his email signature, thereby violating Hawks’ constitutional First Amendment right of freedom of speech.
But even after Hawks had complied with the order, the hospital punished him for “insubordination” for seeking legal counsel about his rights, and placed him on administrative leave.
California Catholic Daily republished the following A Nov. 14, 2013 press release from the Pacific Justice Institute:
A retired military veteran who now works in a hospital was stunned when supervisors called him into the office last week to demand that he remove “God Bless America” from his e-mail signature block. What happened next was even more shocking—he complied with the directive but was placed on administrative leave for “insubordination” when he said he wanted to consult with legal counsel about his rights.
Pacific Justice Institute now represents this veteran, Mr. Boots Hawks, and sent a strongly-worded letter to his supervisors at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, late Tuesday. In the letter, PJI Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds reminded the hospital that Mr. Hawks has been a dedicated employee for ten years, earning such distinctions as Employee of the Year for his work in qualityassurance. Prior to joining the hospital staff, Mr. Hawks spent twenty years in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class. PJI is demanding that supervisors rescind their disciplinary action and their censorship….
Mr. Hawks returned to work on Wednesday to find that lock combinations had been changed and his computer password had been suspended. The hospital had not yet responded to PJI’s letter as of Thursday morning.
Dameron Hospital is supported by the non-profit Dameron Hospital Foundation. The foundation’s executive director is a woman named Diane Vigil, CFRE (CFRE means Certified Fund Raising Executive). Here’s her contact info:
Tel: (209) 461-7547
Email: [email protected]
Address: Dameron Hospital Association, 525 West Acacia St., Stockton, CA 95203
Dr. Eowyn is the Editor of Fellowship of the Minds.