Sunday, March 13, 2016

Quickies: Religion In The Workplace

     I’m not on LinkedIn – no use for it, really – so I’ve only just learned about this:

     Eric Little wasn’t trying to make a bold statement to the business world when he posted a picture of a Bible study to LinkedIn last December. He just liked the impromptu snapshot of the weekly study he hosts and wanted to share it.

     “We were praying before starting our Bible study, and I just looked up and took the picture,” said Little, the president of Crimson Building Company in Dallas/Fort Worth and a deacon at his church. “Later on that day, I looked at the picture and thought it was pretty powerful. Then without giving it much thought, I posted it on our Facebook page and on LinkedIn.”

     Needless to say, at work these days you can’t even bow your head over your lunch without triggering some sort of carping:

     The response has been mixed. Some people have lectured Little for injecting religion into a business networking site. Others have criticized him for creating a potentially hostile workplace for people who don’t share his faith. But many of the comments laud him for setting a good example and daring to let his light shine online...one human resources professional who is Jewish warned Little that an employee facing discipline could cite lack of participation in the study as the motivation for action, and that would be a tough claim to defend.

     HR people are necessarily cautious about anything that might become the basis of an adverse lawsuit. All the same, what we have here is a driver for religious discrimination -- a reason for the small business owner to avoid hiring persons not of his religious faith -- because a litigation-minded employee wouldn’t need such study groups as an excuse! He could merely allege exclusion on religious grounds.

     Factor into this the de jure positive accommodations being mandated for American Muslims and their “religious” requirements. Does any Gentle Reader think a Muslim-owned business would be penalized for religious discrimination against a Christian or Jewish employee, regardless of the circumstances or the evidence, even if we assume that Muslims would willingly hire “polytheists” or “the descendants of apes and pigs” as anything but janitors or go-fers?

1 comment:

  1. "Others have criticized him for creating a potentially hostile workplace for people who don’t share his faith."

    Potentially hostile workplace??!!

    Will we come to the point where six guys celebrate their local team's victory with high-fives at work and someone will complain because their feelings are hurt?

    I was a wuss in my school days (still am) but even I got into a couple of fights over the years. No big deal. Some bruising to the ego, you get past it. These days a fight might not only result in suspensions but include hand-wringing letters to parents from the school or even calls for change in school administration or some sort of sensitivity training.

    I think we're trying to protect too much. (Sorry. Getting interrupted too much to put together a boffo last sentence.)

    ReplyDelete

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