Cycle Forums: Motorcycle and Sportbikes Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Moderator,
Joined
·
14,196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interesting article and lawsuit, thought I'd share. Has anyone had a problem with religious beliefs at their employment? Are your religious beliefs respected? Thought this might be a good discussion today. This is out of Tennessee.

Religion can be trouble in workplace
By PAMELA REEVES, Anderson, Reeves & Cooper P.A.
December 21, 2003

A case filed in federal court in Nashville two weeks ago illustrates why employers need to make sure their employees' religious beliefs remain outside the workplace.

The case was filed by a woman who adheres to the Baha'i faith, a sect that believes several religious figures are equally authentic messengers of God.

The lawsuit alleges that when she was fired, she was told that she was being fired before the Christmas season because her mere presence in the workplace would ruin her co-worker's holidays.

The plaintiff also alleged that other co-workers told her that they were praying for her soul and that the office manager gave her a framed picture of Jesus. She claims that her termination notice contained a letter from her supervisor that said, "Realize why Jesus Came. Recognize his Holy Name. Receive Jesus Christ into your heart. Rely on Jesus everyday."

While it is too early to predict the outcome of this lawsuit, it is safe to say that the actions of the co-workers have, at a minimum, created a potential for liability.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment based on religion in companies with 15 or more employees. The Tennessee Human Rights Act prohibits religious discrimination for employers with eight or more employees.

It is difficult for employees to realize that their desire to share their religious beliefs with co-workers can be a form of religious discrimination. Many have strong religious convictions that they should share their faith with others. Unfortunately, this type of behavior in the workplace can create concerns.

Companies should make sure that their supervisors are aware that attempts to impose religious beliefs can be a violation of law. In particular, supervisors should be trained to avoid this type of behavior personally and to take affirmative action to make sure that co-workers are not harassing other employees.

This is not to say that one can never discuss religion in the workplace. It is fine to invite someone to attend church or to answer questions about religious beliefs. The problems occur when an employee begins to harass a co-worker about religious beliefs or makes religion such a focus that it begins to affect the terms and conditions of employment.

While the Christmas season is definitely a time for many of us to take stock of our religious beliefs, it is also a time to remember that those beliefs are personal. The workplace is simply not a pulpit.

It may be difficult in this part of the country to accept this fact, but the New Year will be a lot happier if the company and its employees are not having to spend their time defending a religious discrimination lawsuit.

Pamela Reeves is a partner in the Knoxville law firm Anderson, Reeves & Cooper P.A. Because factual situations vary, competent legal counsel should be consulted for individual advice.

Copyright 2003, Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,960 Posts
:rolleyes

Nothing wrong with being who you are, but you have to know how two keep the two separate on a professional level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
Most of the people in my office are believers. So we openly talk about our faith there.

A couple of the part time people claim they are not Christians and are curious, because I am so open about my faith in front of complete strangers; so they often ask me spiritual questions and we have discussions.

Its coolio! :thumb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
well, its interesting how this came up becuase i recently encountered someone who felt they were released from their job due to their talking about God and Jesus too often. This is how i feel on this topic.

Employers have no right to tell their employees to leave their faith at the door. when God puts me in a position of employment, my actions and behavoir play a huge witnessing role to my fellow employees and when the doors open, i will mention God as an active role in my life. some may not like it but hey, too bad. the following example actually happened once.
"what'd you do this weekend? anything interesting?"

"yes i did. i went to a bible study on saturday and enjoyed good fellowship with some friends then i went to church on sunday."

"hey, don't you go bringing up God push your religion on me, pal!"

"i didn't. you asked me what i did so i told you."
BUT in this case, in the article where they said
The plaintiff also alleged that other co-workers told her that they were praying for her soul and that the office manager gave her a framed picture of Jesus. She claims that her termination notice contained a letter from her supervisor that said, "Realize why Jesus Came. Recognize his Holy Name. Receive Jesus Christ into your heart. Rely on Jesus everyday."
in my opinion, this is going way to far. in this case, i feel professional boundaries were crossed.
 

·
glad to be here
Joined
·
968 Posts
If that's true, the company that fired her has no case.:slap I'm sure they "meant well", but how can you run a business and not know that is inappropriate behavior?
I'm not sure what difference it would make, but I did notice the article doesn't say why she was fired.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
Serial Thriller said:
If that's true, the company that fired her has no case.:slap I'm sure they "meant well", but how can you run a business and not know that is inappropriate behavior?
I'm not sure what difference it would make, but I did notice the article doesn't say why she was fired.
The lawsuit alleges that...she was being fired...because her mere presence in the workplace would ruin her co-worker's holidays.
 

·
Moderator,
Joined
·
7,795 Posts
if the report is true, then it's harrassment, pure and simple.

the lady should be free do do her job without imposition.
 

·
I miss my daggone stars
Joined
·
12,002 Posts
Baby Gorilla said:


Nothing wrong with being who you are, but you have to know how two keep the two separate on a professional level.

+1

A persons faith is a private matter for the most part. Whether in the office or among friends where a person stands religiously really should only enter the picture if asked.

Apparently these folks were the kind that didn't bother asking but rather felt the need to force feed their beliefs.

Not sure if Tenn is a right to work state or not, but if this happend here in NC
JayMan said:

The lawsuit alleges that when she was fired, she was told that she was being fired before the Christmas season because her mere presence in the workplace would ruin her co-worker's holidays.
Home-girl would be renaming the company after herself :shake As she SHOULD be entitled to..what they did to her was wrong if it's like Steed says :nono

You can fire anyone in NC for ANY reason here, so long as you don't GIVE a reason. When you GIVE the reason you open yourself to liability and wrongful termination.

As with their beliefs, these people should have kept their mouths shut about the reason she was fired.

The article doesn't state whether or not the Baha'i believer was indeed trying to force her beliefs on others, but it makes it rather clear the others forced theirs...to the breaking point apparently and thats never good :nono

I'm all for sharing when asked :thumb And I'm even for an offer to share when you see someone hurting. But if the offer is never taken up on, then thats the time to drop it..THEY KNOW and if they want to know MORE they'll ask YOU.



Persecution based on your beliefs however is a different story :censored
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
The only thing I missed is this: what kind of business is this? Is it a church or church organization? Those are the only ones that may have a "litmus test" for faith. Otherwise, all I can say is that it wouldn't be the first business to make a boneheaded decision. And they are going to pay royally for it!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Of course, this is no real surprise. We've asked God to leave our schools, our government, and our courts. And He has, and the results are obvious. Now we want Him out of our places of work. I'm sure He will again listen to our request. May God have mercy on us all.
 

·
Moderator,
Joined
·
7,795 Posts
Kevin said:
Of course, this is no real surprise. We've asked God to leave our schools, our government, and our courts. And He has, and the results are obvious. Now we want Him out of our places of work. I'm sure He will again listen to our request. May God have mercy on us all.
i wonder though...

will i be held responsible
for what this nation does?

or has God simply asked
me to give an account
for myself.

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp?
 

·
I miss my daggone stars
Joined
·
12,002 Posts
STeed said:
i wonder though...
will i be held responsible for what this nation does?

or has God simply asked me to give an account for myself.

[larger picture consideration, not this one incident]

No one can be held liable for the action of another, but allowing it to continue when it causes a problem when you COULD stand up for whats right DOESN'T mean you have an excuse NOT to act.


[/larger picture consideration, not this one incident]
 

·
Moderator,
Joined
·
7,795 Posts
CasterTroy said:
[larger picture consideration, not this one incident]

No one can be held liable for the action of another, but allowing it to continue when it causes a problem when you COULD stand up for whats right DOESN'T mean you have an excuse NOT to act.


[/larger picture consideration, not this one incident]
i hear ya.

i believe the verse says something like...

'never withhold good when it is in your power to act' ... etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
CasterTroy said:
[larger picture consideration, not this one incident]

No one can be held liable for the action of another, but allowing it to continue when it causes a problem when you COULD stand up for whats right DOESN'T mean you have an excuse NOT to act.


[/larger picture consideration, not this one incident]
yes, true. however it also matters as to whether or not you could do something to discontinue a course. like in the serenity prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things i can not change, courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

now for those who may want to take this a bit differently and try to twist this, "to accept the things i can not change" does not mean you have to accept them as being right or allowed, it means to accept them as part of this world which we are supposed to live in but not be of. for example, the porn industry is of this world and i personally can not change that but i can choose not to accept it as an allowable practice in my home and my life. God says though we have to live in this world, we are not to be "of this world".

now to know what my particular role may be in something is between God and I, and the only way to know that is to seek His council before i act to know whether or not i will be acting in accordance with His plan for me.
 

·
I miss my daggone stars
Joined
·
12,002 Posts
monkey1 said:
yes, true. however it also matters as to whether or not you could do something to discontinue a course.
Right, and we're on the same page here, but lets say there is a senator in your state who is opposed to every view you have.

You DO have a choice and you DO have an action you can take.


VOTE

[smaller picture]

In the case of the woman above...the fellow "so called Christians" COULD have taken action and asked the others harassing her (if that was what really was taking place) to BACK OFF and leave her be.

Jesus made himself available to everyone....he was open to receive praise as well as pain, and never MADE anyone accept him, so it's not our mission to force it on anyone either....but if we see it happen, and we have an opportunity to stop it, we should.

[/smaller picture]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
CasterTroy said:
Right, and we're on the same page here, but lets say there is a senator in your state who is opposed to every view you have.

You DO have a choice and you DO have an action you can take.


VOTE
yeah, like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. :rolleyes

yes, we are DEFINATELY on the same page. :thumb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,574 Posts
CasterTroy said:
I can't talk.......John (ambulance chaser) Edwards is from MY state :slap
yeah, but...nevermind. i don't want this thread to turn political. too much argueing if we go down THAT road. no one can ever agree on politics. :crackup
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top