A CHECKOUT assistant temporarily suspended from supermarket Morrisons for wearing a Help for Heroes wristband in support of murdered soldier Lee Rigby has resigned.
The human rights group Liberty, which is representing Adam Austin, from Portsmouth, has threatened the chain with an unfair dismissal claim if it does not issue a full apology and pay him compensation for lost earnings.
Mr Austin’s suspension was lifted, but he decided he could not continue working at the Victory Retail Park store after being questioned by management on his return about wearing the wristband and a poppy badge, Liberty said.
Liberty argues this was a “constructive dismissal”, as Mr Austin resigned in response to one or more breaches of his contract. Mr Austin, 28, wore the wristband and badge to work in tribute to Drummer Rigby after the solider was hacked to death near Woolwich barracks on 22 May.
Corinna Ferguson, Liberty legal officer, said: “The ban on wearing a Help for Heroes wristband and a poppy badge was a clear interference with Mr Austin’s right to freedom of expression.
“Morrisons’ unreasonable behaviour is underlined by the fact the policy was changed within two days of his suspension – a suspension carried out in such a way as to humiliate him in front of colleagues and customers alike.”
Mr Austin claims he took off the wristband, but was removed from his checkout by management staff, suspended pending a disciplinary hearing and escorted off the premises.