Workplace Discrimination- Atheism counts.

I've talked to people numerous times who've mentioned that they'd like to have something up which is pro-atheism in the office but they "know" that as soon as they do they'll be told to take it down by a theistic boss or complaints will roll in from coworkers, etc.

I know many people on here probably know this already but simply for any who don't... they can't. It's considered religious discrimination. Now an employer CAN say "no religious items" potentially. THIS however I'm not 100% sure of but I've been told by 2 attorney friends that if they're items not necessary for the practice of faith, such as a yamaka (head covering) for a someone of the jewish faith, but merely "decorative" then an employer has the right to say no 'decorations' in the office/cubicles/etc.

They may NOT, however, say "No crucifixes but statues of Buddha are acceptable." IE: all or nothing.

Here is the EOCC definition as well as the link to their page:

EEOC compliance guidelines

"Religious beliefs include theistic beliefs as well as non-theistic
“moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are
sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious
views.”[25] Although courts generally resolve doubts about
particular beliefs in favor of finding that they are religious,[26]
beliefs are not protected merely because they are strongly held.
Rather, religion typically concerns “ultimate ideas” about
“life, purpose, and death.”[27] Social, political, or economic
philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not
“religious” beliefs protected by Title VII.[28]"


Now, of course, this doesn't mean that a vengeful boss couldn't find some OTHER excuse to fire somebody who draws their ire, just as they always can in other situations where they may not legally "discriminate" but instead find a time the person was 2 minutes late or what have you as an excuse for termination.
If you're willing to stand up to that chance, however, it's always fun to see their face when you explain that your NPR "What I Believe" poster featuring Penn Gillette's "There is NO God" speech is as protected as your neighbor's cross, lol.

NB: I am NOT an attorney, these are only my opinions and not to be considered as legal advice.

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Comment by Caine on October 8, 2009 at 9:14pm
Thanks. His issue seems more domestic then legal but, regardless.

FYI I wasn't trying to be a dick in my response to you, it's simply that I don't see a a "written reason" as salient since that's not proof from lying anyway, lol
Comment by Caine on October 4, 2009 at 7:00pm
Comment by Caine on October 4, 2009 at 7:00pm
Texas is a right to work state as well steve. My office has had to defend against multiple EOCC complaints and lost one of them for sexual discrimination. EOCC guidelines still apply regardless and trump anything put in a handbook, you can't waive away federal labor protections. They can put whatever they like in their, at the end of the day if it conflicts with a federal agency/reg/law I highly doubt it'll end up winning.

As for not having to give you a reason, that's moot. Do you think that almost anyone fired for religious, racial, or sexual discrimination has that put as the reason? Whether they put "Failed to meet job standards and expected weekly production" when it was really for racial reasons or nothing at all you're still in the same boat. You have to prove the termination was for a discriminatory reason. What's written down or not is always moot unless you HAPPEN to have a boss idiotic enough in a state where you DO have to give a reason to write "Reason for Termination: Wouldn't sleep with me." or "Prays to Allah".
Comment by Caine on October 3, 2009 at 7:09pm
Well close to true but not exactly. TX is a right to work state as well and they can NOT fire you for anything they want. They can fire you for any reason OTHER than discrimination. EOCC guidelines still apply. Don't like how you're dressed? Sure, they can fire you.
Don't like your religion, the fact that you're gay, black, or like wearing women's clothing on alternate thursdays? No, they can't.



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