Tag Archives: EEOC

Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, "I will pray for you"

From Yahoo: (AUGUSTA, Maine/RNewswire-USNewswire) Toni Richardson, an educational technician employed by the Augusta School Department, filed charges of religious discrimination and retaliation yesterday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after being instructed to never use phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with coworkers.  A copy of the charge is available here.
“What Augusta Public Schools did by punishing Toni for discussing her faith in a private conversation with a coworker is unconscionable,” said Timothy Woodcock of the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody. “The law is clear: employers cannot discriminate against employees who privately discuss their faith while at work.”
Toni tried to privately encourage a coworker—with whom she attends church—by saying, “I will pray for you.”  Even though the coworker thanked Toni, the Augusta Schools Department interrogated her, asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him. Later, she received an official “coaching memorandum,” explaining that she could not use “phrases that integrate public and private belief systems” while at schoolThe memo specifically explains that she will face discipline or dismissal in the future for using phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with colleagues at work.
“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Toni Richardson says, “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.”
“No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute, says. “School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while on campus.”
To read the charge of discrimination, go to FirstLiberty.org/Richardson.

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Iowa newspaper fires editor for writing about Gaystapo on his personal blog

persecution-of-christiansThe war against Christians and Christianity isn’t just in Islamic countries of the Middle East and North Africa, it is now in America.
A newspaper editor in Iowa was fired from his job because he wrote IN HIS PERSONAL BLOG about his Bible-based beliefs on homosexuality being a sin.
It is against federal law for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of religious beliefs and practices. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, § 1605.1 says:

In most cases whether or not a practice or belief is religious is not at issue. However, in those cases in which the issue does exist, the [Equal Employment Opportunity] Commission will define religious practices to include moral or ethical beliefs as to what is right and wrong which are sincerely held with the strength of traditional religious views. This standard was developed in United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) and Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (1970). The Commission has consistently applied this standard in its decisions. 1 The fact that no religious group espouses such beliefs or the fact that the religious group to which the individual professes to belong may not accept such belief will not determine whether the belief is a religious belief of the employee or prospective employee. The phrase “religious practice” as used in these Guidelines includes both religious observances and practices, as stated in section 701(j), 42 U.S.C. 2000e(j).

Robert Eschliman

Robert Eschliman

Daniel Finney and William Petroski report for The Des Moines Register, July 23, 2014, that Bob Eschliman, former editor of an Iowa newspaper, Newton Daily News, filed a complaint this week with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Milwaukee claiming he is a victim of religious discrimination by his former employer because he was fired May 5 after publishing his views on homosexuals in his PERSONAL blog.
If the dispute isn’t resolved to Eschliman’s satisfaction, he could sue in federal court to seek financial damages.
In late April, Eschliman, 41, a member of Christian Reformed Church of Newton, Iowa, wrote a personal blog post criticizing the “Queen James Bible,” a website that rewrites sections of the Bible to make homosexuality acceptable. In his blog, Eschliman accused “the LGBTQXYZ crowd and the Gaystapo” of trying “to make their sinful nature right with God.”
Jim Romenesko

Jim Romenesko

Jim Romenesko, who hosts an eponymous widely-read online blog about the news media, reported on Eschliman’s post and questioned whether Eschliman, in light of his publicly stated views, would be able to fairly cover issues involving gays.
Romenesko claimed he had emailed Eschliman inquiring if he could report about homosexuality objectively because of his published views. Eschliman ignored Romenesko’s correspondence, but removed the post from his personal blog.
Shaw Media, a Dixon, Ill., company, suspended Eschliman with pay and eventually fired him. Eschliman’s attorneys claim that violated his constitutional rights of religious expression. Newton Daily News Publisher Dan Goetz declined to comment Wednesday.
John Rung

John Rung

After Eschliman’s dismissal, the Newton newspaper published an editorial by Shaw Media President John Rung, who wrote: “Last week, he expressed an opinion in his personal blog that in no way reflects the opinion of the Newton Daily News or Shaw Media. While he is entitled to his opinion, his public airing of it compromised the reputation of this newspaper and his ability to lead it.”
The Liberty Institute, a Dallas nonprofit legal firm that advocates for religious freedom, has taken up Eschliman’s case. Jeremiah Dys, a senior lawyer with the Liberty Institute, told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that he believes Eschliman has a strong case. He was joined by former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, who now has a private law practice and will also be representing Eschliman. Whitaker said, “No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs. In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing a religious belief in public. This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today’s welcoming workforce.”
Eschliman, a Boone native and U.S. Navy veteran who is married with two young children, has worked as a writer and editor for seven different companies, garnering almost 70 journalism awards. Seven awards came while he was editor in chief of the Newton newspaper, according to his attorneys.
But Eschliman said Wednesday that he has had difficulty finding employment since his dismissal, “particularly here in Iowa.” He said his writing, which some considered objectionable, was posted on a personal blog that was read mainly by family members and friends.
Mark Kende, a constitutional law professor at Drake University, said that at first glance, it appears that Eschliman has a potential case, “I am not saying the newspaper does not have an attempted defense, but federal laws generally prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion.” Kende described the case as untypical because the behavior in question occurred outside the workplace.
Eschliman “is arguing that they are firing him for his religious beliefs, and to the extent that the comments he made are based on his religion, that doesn’t seem frivolous,” Kende said. “But having said that, if I were the company, I would say that we are not firing him for his religious beliefs. We are firing him because his job is to be an impartial reporter, and as an impartial reporter he has lost his credibility, so it has nothing to do with his religion.”
Donna Red WingDonna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization, said she takes religious liberties and the rights of journalists very seriously, noting she worked previously in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff of the Interfaith Alliance. But she also said Eschliman’s comments overstepped boundaries, describing his use of the term “Gaystapo”as horrific and suggesting he failed in his responsibility to be fair and objective.
“Certainly, his bosses at Shaw Media did what they felt they needed to do. I find his words disconcerting,” Red Wing said. “I am not a lawyer, but if he were working for me, I would fire him.”
H/t Christian News and FOTM’s Sig94

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Woman fired for wearing fake penis

This takes the prize as the Weirdest News of the Day.
A female worker at a Pennsylvania snack food factory is suing the company for firing her because she wore a fake penis to work while she considered a sex change.

The UK’s Daily Mail reports, Jan. 13, 2012, that Pauline Davis, 45, claims she was fired from J&J Snack Foods Corporation because she wore the prosthetic attachment to the factory in Moosic, Lackawanna County where she worked as a line inspector.

Lawsuit: Pauline Davis is suing J&J Snack Foods, pictured, over claims she was fired from her job for wearing a prosthetic penis to work while considering a sex change

Ms. Davis first filed a complaint in March 2010 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Philadelphia, claiming gender and gender-identity discrimination, reports the Philadelphia Daily News.
According to the lawsuit, Davis had confided in her co-workers about the fake penis. The co-workers, in turn, allegedly passed the information onto management who promptly fired her.  Her attorney, Lalena Turchi, insisted the fake penis was concealed and “in no way interfered with her ability to do her job”. The suit also claims a male employee undergoing hormone treatments and female clothing was treated more favorably.
Davis is seeking back pay, damages for suffering and humiliation, and punitive damages.
The New Jersey-based J&J company — which manufactures soft pretzels, slushies, frozen pops, cookies, churros, and pretzel dogs — did not immediately return a request for a comment.

J&J Snack Food pretzel dogs

The website Reelmagik.com (note it’s the occultic “magik” instead of “magic”) is selling a 6.2″ long prosthetic penis (weight: 11 oz.; 6″ girth at widest point!). Here’s the blurb:

“This prosthetic penis was created to visually enhance the sexual organ of transgender post-op patients.  We were approached by a client who had recently had the 1st stage female-to-male surgery, and was dissatisfied with the results.  Instead of opting for a 2nd surgery, in which skin taken from other sections of the body would be used to build up the sexual organ, they wanted a prosthetic that would give the appearance of typical male genitalia.  We came up with a solution that would enable the client to wear the prosthetic without the need for cumbersome straps or belts, as well as the option to be flaccid or aroused.   We inserted a plastic flexible rod into the center of the prosthetic, that allowed it to be bent in almost any position.  The prosthetic would be glued to the skin, instead of being “strapped on”, allowing for a sense of realism.  The choice of material would also enhance the realism of the prosthetic.  The properties of a unique silicone allowed for a “gel-filled” prosthetic.  The prosthetic has a very soft, yet durable outer skin, with a gel-like fleshy interior, that feels very much like an actual penis.  To achieve this, the silicone is not simply poured into the mold and filled.  Silicone is painstakingly hand poured into the mold one layer at a time (each layer allowed to set up before the next is poured), building up multiple layers, each layer having a different durometer (hardness/softness) until the desired flesh-like consistency is achieved. This allows the outer skin layer to be “pulled up”, similar to foreskin on an actual penis.  The new 3D scrotum also benefits from this material, allowing for firm testes floating in a near-liquid gel.  An extremely detailed paint job, as well as the addition of hand-punched synthetic hairs add to the extreme realism of this product.  This product is also available without the flex rod.  For additional information regarding the use of this product, as well as warranty & shipping info, please see our FAQ PAGE

Reelmagik offers a “basic” and an “advanced” model. The Basic Prosthetic Kit contains:

  1. High quality gel-filled 6” silicone prosthetic (optional embedded plastic flex rod)
  2. Standard paint job (see basic prosthetic photos below)
  3. 2oz bottle of Cleansing spray
  4. Application and Care Pamphlet

Alas, the kit does not include adhesive, which will cost you extra. 🙁
A week ago, singer Cher’s female-to-male transgender offspring, Chas (née Chastity) Bono announced that s/he is saving pennies ($40,000) to pay for a metoidioplasty procedure. As explained by Bono:
“It’s a procedure that uses what you already have down there, which has grown larger from the testosterone. You end up with a smaller phallus than with the phalloplasty, but it’s fully functional, it gets erect, and the sensation is all there.”
Bono says s/he expects the eventual willy to be about 3 inches long.
Maybe Bono should go the less expensive, less painful, and longer prosthetic route that former snack food worker Pauline Davis took. JMHHO: Just my humble helpful opinion!

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Factory Worker Fired for Refusing to Wear "666" Sticker

A factory worker in Georgia was fired because he refused to wear a “666” sticker that his employer mandated all employees to wear.
The Associated Press reports, November 18, 2011, that Billy E. Hyatt claims in a federal lawsuit that he was fired from Pliant Corp. (now renamed Berry Plastics Corp.), a plastics factory in northern Georgia near Dalton where he’s worked since June 2007, after he refused to wear a sticker proclaiming that his factory had been accident-free for 666 days.
Like the factory’s other employees, Hyatt had worn the sticker proclaiming how many days the factory had gone without an accident. But, being a devout Christian, he increasingly grew nervous in early 2009 as the number of accident-free days crept into the 600s.
As the company’s safety calendar approached day 666, a number that is considered the “mark of the beast” in the Bible’s Book of Revelation describing the end days, Hyatt said he approached a manager and explained that wearing the “666” sticker would force him “to accept the mark of the beast and to be condemned to hell.” He said the manager assured him he wouldn’t have to wear the number.
But when the “666” day came on March 12, 2009, Hyatt sought a manager to discuss his request, only to be told that his beliefs were “ridiculous” and that he should wear the sticker or serve a three-day suspension.
Hyatt took the three-day suspension, but was fired at a human resources meeting several days later. He filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and his attorney Stephen Mixon said the agency granted him the right to sue the company in August.
The lawsuit, which seeks punitive damages and back pay, said the company forced him into a terrible situation: Keep his job or “abandon his religious beliefs.”
The company, now known as Berry Plastics Corp., did not return several calls and emails seeking comment. It has yet to respond to the complaint in court.
Berry Plastics Corp. is headquartered in Evansville, Illinois. Less than a month ago, former U.S. senator and governor of Indiana B. Evan Bayh was appointed to the corporation’ Board of Directors.
Ironically, Berry Plastics’ home page proclaims that “Employees are our most valuable asset.”
Click here for its online contact form!

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