FOX News: A Florida woman says she was fired from her job for refusing to comply with a policy requiring employees to say "Happy Holidays" to callers -- but the company's president claims her story is "absolutely false."
Tonia Thomas says she was terminated two weeks ago from her job at Counts Oakes Resort Properties in Panama City after balking at the rule because it went against her religion. She is suing for lost wages, she said.
Thomas offered to use a generic greeting or say "Merry Christmas" to callers instead, but that offer was denied by company President Andy Phillips, according to the Liberty Counsel -- the Christian-based legal group representing her.
"She said, 'That goes against my religious beliefs; I'm participating in secularizing Christmas,'" Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mathew Staver told FOXNews.com. "She asked him for an accommodation ... and he refused."
Thomas, 35, said she doesn't like using the generic greetings at Christmastime and explained that to her former employer.
"I said I have a problem with saying 'Happy Holidays,'" Thomas told FOXNews.com. "The world ... groups Christmas with other holidays, and that's offensive to me as a Christian."
But Phillips says the entire incident has been twisted by both Thomas and the Liberty Counsel.
"I will go on the record as saying Miss Thomas was not terminated for not saying 'Merry Christmas,'" Phillips told FOXNews.com. "A lot of the information that's been disseminated is absolutely false. It's definitely a very distorted version of what actually happened."
Phillips declined to specify why Thomas was fired.
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