I could use advise. I am returning to work after an 18 month layoff. I worked there two years. I am dreading going back ONLY because it is a small working area full of bible thumping right wing conservatives that made it very clear my belief structure is wrong and they are right. Tensions ran high and I asked management to step in after I made it clear my opinions are to be respected.I am proud of my thoughts and always matter of factly say I don't subscribe to the majority.I, you should note, am not a radical nontheistic  individual. I do not hide my opinions but was " outed" when I asked to be excused from the x-mas luncheon. I refused to participate and it was as if I was burning an American flag on a pile of bibles in the parking lot. Management acted and stood behind me. Case closed......I thought. Snide comments within earshot was a daily event. jesus love and god bless you and all the glory be crap was childishly and excessively thrown around while I was trying to work with the intent to piss me off.  Tension was palpable and the building split between those who thought I was to be respected and those who wanted a deity to strike me dead. All I wanted to do was work and did not want to run to management all the time.  My question is any legal precedent relating to civil rights for atheist? Now I know you point to the constitution which relates to this case but would it fall under a more modern issue of hate crime.  It was hostile and a very tense environment. No physical harm was provoked but there are many forms of abuse with verbal being as dramatic as physical. How do you deal with it? I know this is not unique and my response is to ignore it, which I did for two years but it never let up. Sadly it is being kept super secret I am coming back because if "they" knew they would mount a campaign to stop it. I want/need to work but dread the inevitable snottyness.   When i go  back it will pick right back up. Obviously I could contact the ACLU but I don't want a lawsuit just to do my job and be left alone. There is no talking it out. I tried that. Any advice?     

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You could possibly have Title VII on your side. Check www.eeoc.gov for "Religious Discrimination."
thanks.......i will definately check it out........
kick ass
ass kick
Constitutional ass kicking!

and taping a conversation for shitz n' godly giggles?
The United States Constitution is as close to a bible as I get. My kids have faced religious discrimination before at school and let me tell you those bitches step back three steps when I threaten filing my grievence in court. Not as educated about the workplace but I KNOW the rules that govern public schools here in Florida. Thanks for the encouragement though. Good idea too, but I have to inform everyone at work,Florida law,I will be taping so it may do the trick to shut them up.thanks.......
I was curious, do these law include 'lack of religion'? I believe that some state discrimination laws don't include homosexuality, and so technically a gay person could not be protected by the law. Could that same kind of loophole be applied to an atheist? Should the law include 'lack of religion' listed among their 'major religions' section?
Very good questions. I need to check into that. Ironically I am gay also, a gaytheist I suppose. An absolute abomination and too uncomfortable to my work peers. After my interview to return to work I may not go back after all because there has been a campaign from the "thumpers" that I would be too disruptive and should NOT be hired back although I have an exemplary record and the most qualified for the position. I don't think I have any recourse here in Florida and it is discrimination in it's most raw form. They don't have to hire me back period. They aren't because of me being an atheist and others don't feel comfortable around me. What a load of crap. Please note I only reacted to the bible thumpers and never initiated the tension. Civil rights right out the window. Glad for groups like this because being pushed around by the status qua has to end.......
YOU being too disruptive? I don't even know the situation, but somehow that seems rediculous, especially since they are petitioning and and rioting in the halls. I'm sorry to hear that you may not get your job back, but I really can't wait untill this happends to the wrong person and a case like this blows up. The Freedom From Relgion Foundation handles cases like this I think, ffrf.org, if ur interested.
I feel for you man. I am an 16 year active duty Navy man, which only 2+ of it has been as an Atheist (before that I would have been a classified as a skeptical Christian). I have not had anyone work-wise pull what has been pulled on you. I too am outspoken or at least do not hide my Atheism. Part of that may be due to my working in a technical field, not saying that believers are not intelligent. The stuff I deal with as do other non believers in the Navy is the evening prayers underway. The PA system (1MC on the ship) is taken over by the ships chaplin and a prayer is said over the PA, 90%+ being Christian.

I hope it gets resolved without going to court, but there is no need or reason for your co-workers to behave in that way toward, but it seems to be a common way of behavior for Christians these days.
I would love to see a lawsuit about something like this. But anyways, good for you that you have been able to put up with something so stupid for so long, and didn't punch someone in the face. Its amazing that people who speak of brotherly love and charity can act in such a hipocratical manner. My family is still very christian, and I am currently living at home with them, we have made a peace, but the other members who come over to the house for bible study have the audacity to try and make me feel uncomfortable in my own home.
Best or luck, I hope you are able to find a peaceful resolution. Perhaps if they are hiring on new people you could try to get another non-believer on staff?
The really irritating thing is that they don't comprehend just how vindictive and hypocritical they're being. They say we don't have morals, but you don't see many atheists vandalizing christian cars over a bumper sticker or dumping hot coffee all over their laps. Reading this just makes want to punch something really hard! Nothing grates on my nerves more than a bunch of self-righteouss asses taking it upon themselves to pass judgement and make someone else's life miserable. It needs to stop, bring it up with your HR department, and if they can't or won't help then I say sue away. I undestand why you don't want a lawsuit, but these people need to learn that their behavior crosses the line.
Thanks Lindsey S. i love your understanding and passion about this topic. You know why we as atheist aren't mean and vindictive? It is because we don't have anything to hide behind. I may not be getting my job back because the bible thumpers are in a tizzy since they got wind I am coming back. Now I am pissed. I checked the EEOC about a complaint but guess what? I don't see any provisions of protection for anyone lacking religion. Islamic, christian........sure but not void of religion. So it's o.k. to discriminate because I am am atheist? Gonna check a lot deeper cause this crap sucks...........................
I've never taken the time to look into this before, but its actually really interesting. The web site is pretty good and clear to someone with no legal experience.


Filing a Charge
Anyone who believes that s/he has been subjected to discrimination in violation of Title VII may file a charge with the nearest field office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Persons who file a charge, oppose unlawful employment discrimination, participate in employment discrimination proceedings, or otherwise assert their rights under the laws enforced by the Commission are protected against retaliation. An EEOC charge must be filed within 180 days -- or 300 if the state has a fair employment practices agency -- of the date of the disputed conduct. Field offices are located throughout the United States. To be connected to the appropriate office, call 1-800-669-4000. EEOC's TTY number is 1-800-800-3302.

For more information go to National Origin Discrimination and Religious Discrimination.




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