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Woman Fired For Eating 'Unclean' Meat

Religion Islam Unclean Meat Workplace

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#21 Cardie

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:59 PM

Quote

Let's see. I find the idea of firing someone because YOUR religion is offended to be prejudicial.

If you haven't grown up in a tradition that defines some foods as unclean, it is probably difficult to understand.  I didn't grow up in a kosher home, but being Jewish I have eaten in and respected Kosher homes and synagogues for many years.

Let's forget specific religions and just imagine something that you have been conditioned to regard viscerally as unclean.  For me, I'll use a dead rat pulled out of the sewer.  I'm not talking about someone even eating it in front of me,  :eek4: but if they simply laid it on the lunchroom table while I was eating . . . Well, you can imagine how I'd feel.

This is how a devout Muslim (and an Orthodox Jew for that matter) would feel while watching someone eat a BLT on their premises.

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#22 QueenTiye

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:57 PM

^^ And therein lies the reason why I disagree with the idea that the prohibition makes this "NOT" ecumenical.  

As I understand it - to be ecumenical means to create an atmosphere where the greatest amount of religious diversity can coexist AND be expressed.  Pork on the premises is deliberately excluding to those who have problems with it to that extent.  

HOWEVER... so is serving/eating beef in the cafeteria... does this guy have any Hindu employees?  I suspect that the policy isn't written down because he doesn't want to admit (even if he has a right to) that his policy is in fact, inherently Muslim, and not ecumenical in nature.  

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#23 Rov Judicata

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 10:34 PM

According to Eugune Volokh (a constitutional law prof at UCLA), this is legal:

http://volokh.com/ar...html#1091665785

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Religious discrimination:

A woman has apparently been fired by a Muslim-owned company because she ate pork on the premises. Is this illegal religious discrimination?

No, just as a Christian-owned company's firing an employee because he is a homosexual is not illegal religious discrimination. Antidiscrimination laws bar people from discriminating based on the employee's religion. An employer may still discriminate based on their employee's conduct -- food preferences, sexual preferences, and the like -- because of the employer's beliefs, whether those beliefs are religious or secular.

If the employee's practice were inherently religious (e.g., she was praying in a way the employer thought was the wrong way), then an employer couldn't discriminate based on that. And if the employee saw her own conduct as religious -- for instance, if she felt a religious obligation to eat pork -- then the employer would have a duty to reasonably accommodate that conduct.

But if the employee was engaging in essentially security conduct, for secular reasons, the employer may fire her for that (unless some other law gets in the way). That the employer was motivated by his own religion doesn't make the firing illegal. (True, had the woman been a good Muslim, she wouldn't have eaten the pork and hadn't been fired -- but the same is true if she had been a good Jew, or a secular vegetarian, or just someone who didn't eat pork at the employer's office. She was being discriminated against based on her nonreligious actions, not based on her religious beliefs.)

There are a couple of good reasons for this. First, a contrary rule would itself be religious discrimination. If a secular employer is free to fire an employee for violating the employer's secular views about morality or decency (e.g., a secular employer fires an employee for adultery, for homosexuality, or for eating dog meat, which the employer finds disgusting or immoral), that's not illegal religious discrimination. There's just nothing religious there. Likewise, a religious employer should be equally free to fire an employee for violating the employer's religious views about morality or decency (e.g., for adultery, for homosexuality, or for eating pig meat).

Second, for deeply religious employers, most of their decisions may be influenced by the employer's religious faith. If an employer fires an employee for treating coworkers unfairly, for being lazy, or even for theft, the employer's reasoning might be colored or even dictated by the employer's religion. If such religious influence made the employer's action into religious discrimination, religious employers would be highly constrained (again, in ways that secular employers would not be).

Now the firing may well be foolish, arbitrary, or unfair in the eyes of non-Muslims (or even of many Muslims), just as many people find firing based on sexual orientation to be foolish, arbitrary, or unfair. It may be the sort of thing that very few secular employers would do. But as a general matter, employers are still legally allowed to fire people even based on foolish, arbitrary, and unfair reasons, so long as they're not discriminating based on the employee's race, religion, sex, and other such attributes. So it seems that this employer was acting within its legal rights.

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#24 DWF

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 10:41 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Aug 4 2004, 05:19 PM, said:

Oh and btw...don't you owe me two Firefly reviews????   :wideeyed:
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#25 Norville

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 11:45 PM

Pickles said:

Is this religious discrimination or not?

In my view, it is. I get enough weird comments at work just because I'm mostly vegetarian and eat salads. People seem to feel a need to comment on my food, though I don't do that to them, nor am I interested in doing so. I can only imagine how I'd feel if I were *fired* for what I ate. :glare:

*However*... if this was Muslim-based company policy, to be forbidden to eat pork on company premises, then why did she flaunt that? I'm sure she could've gone a workday without eating pork, but I say that as someone who can happily go a day without meat. ...Yeah, I'm thinking about what Rov said and coming to agree with that, despite my first point.

Shoshana said:

as far as Christmas trees go - I worked for a store that had multiple Christmas trees

My workplace used to have Christmas decorations, until someone(s) complained -- either because it didn't acknowledge their own religion, or it wasn't politically correct to acknowledge a Christian holiday. Now the most we're allowed to do is put up seasonal colors that indicate winter, like dark blue and snow white. :rolleyes:
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#26 emsparks

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:06 AM

While Cardie touched on it let me reiterate, to simplify based on what CNN said the woman in question used an office microwave to cook bacon. From what I know, in both the orthodox Jewish, and Muslim tradition, that makes the Microwave unusable by the religious employees, they canít even touch it, until a special cleansing rite is performed. Now I do not know what that rite would be under Islamic law, however in the Jewish rite the microwave has to be boiled with a stone for several hours, which would destroy the microwave. In short the lady not understanding Islamic law has in effect destroyed the office microwave, at the very least she has made it unusable by her religious co-workers. Now understand that if the pork touched a lunchroom table, that table is also now unclean and has to also be cleansed, before a Muslim can use it, because it is unclean and a Muslim can not touch something unclean. In short the employer has now to expend a great deal of money to make the lunchroom clean enough for his / her religious employees to use it. A major point not brought out in the news reports. By not bringing out these points, the news media is adversely impacting the Muslim and oddly enough the orthodox Jewish communities.

So the question has to be who is infringing on whose right of religious freedoms here.

Sparky::

PS..
AS to the Christmas tree bit, what's a matter havenít you people ever heard of a Chanukah bush???

Edited by emsparks, 05 August 2004 - 11:07 AM.

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#27 Nonny

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:10 AM

Pickles, on Aug 4 2004, 06:01 PM, said:

Is this religious discrimination or not?
Whatever it is, I bet it's going to cause Rising Star more trouble than it's worth.  

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#28 Beldame

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:24 AM

No, it's not discrimination. It's a shocking lack of concern for the religious feelings of her fellow employees.  She was asked not to, she knew it would upset people but she did it anyway. Would it have killed her to have made cheese and pickle? or if she couldn't live without bacon, gone out for lunch.  A bigger concern is the reporting, which seems to me to be trying to stir up anti-islamic sentiment, a bit like some of the 'Asylum seekers caught eating swans' rubbish we've had in the UK.
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#29 Nonny

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:25 AM

emsparks, on Aug 5 2004, 04:04 PM, said:

While Cardie touched on it let me reiterate, to simplify based on what CNN said the woman in question used an office microwave to cook bacon. From what I know, in both the orthodox Jewish, and Muslim tradition, that makes the Microwave unusable by the religious employees, they canít even touch it, until a special cleansing rite is performed. Now I do not know what that rite would be under Islamic law, however in the Jewish rite the microwave has to be boiled with a stone for several hours, which would destroy the microwave. In short the lady not understanding Islamic law has in effect destroyed the office microwave, at the very least she has made it unusable by her religious co-workers. Now understand that if the pork touched a lunchroom table, that table is also now unclean and has to also be cleansed, before a Muslim can use it, because it is unclean and a Muslim can not touch something unclean. In short the employer has now to expend a great deal of money to make the lunchroom clean enough for his / her religious employees to use it. A major point not brought out in the news reports. By not bringing out these points, the news media is adversely impacting the Muslim and oddly enough the orthodox Jewish communities.

So the question has to be who is infringing on whose right of religious freedoms here.
You've got my attention now.  Ritually unclean.  The two ER nurses who refused to let me see the ER doctor in my VA hospital three years ago were never so much as reprimanded, because my VA hospital is associated with a Seventh Day Adventist med school.  I nearly bled to death, because their religious sensibilities were outraged by my daring to seek help for excessive bleeding due to dysfunctional uterine bleeding.  They actually shouted at me!  I survived because I managed to persuade somebody to push the wheelchair I was lolling in as the blood was seeping out of me to the patient advocates office, and one of them heard me weeping and found a doctor to see me and call the gyn surgeon.  

All because, to these nurses, I was ritually unclean and their religion came before their profession.  

I wonder how many women have bled to death because they either couldn't get help or were too ashamed to seek help?  

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#30 QueenTiye

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:26 AM

Beldame said:

No, it's not discrimination. It's a shocking lack of concern for the religious feelings of her fellow employees. She was asked not to, she knew it would upset people but she did it anyway. Would it have killed her to have made cheese and pickle? or if she couldn't live without bacon, gone out for lunch. A bigger concern is the reporting, which seems to me to be trying to stir up anti-islamic sentiment, a bit like some of the 'Asylum seekers caught eating swans' rubbish we've had in the UK.

Thanks for noticing.  The article has drawn up a conclusion already, handed it to the public, and when the court doesn't uphold the article's conclusions, the report will be that the liberals and pc crowd have let the country go to the dogs.  And all the while, there is legal precedent for the company's pov...

I say that speaking as a person who generally favors more conservative or moderate viewpoints.

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Edited by Handmaiden07, 05 August 2004 - 11:28 AM.

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#31 QueenTiye

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:30 AM

Nonny, on Aug 5 2004, 12:23 PM, said:

All because, to these nurses, I was ritually unclean and their religion came before their profession.  

I wonder how many women have bled to death because they either couldn't get help or were too ashamed to seek help?  

Nonny
Its one of those touchy subjects - like also the Jehovah's Witnesses refusal to allow themselves or their children blood transfusions.    

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#32 emsparks

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:45 AM

Nonny, on Aug 5 2004, 12:23 PM, said:

emsparks, on Aug 5 2004, 04:04 PM, said:

While Cardie touched on it let me reiterate, to simplify based on what CNN said the woman in question used an office microwave to cook bacon. From what I know, in both the orthodox Jewish, and Muslim tradition, that makes the Microwave unusable by the religious employees, they canít even touch it, until a special cleansing rite is performed. Now I do not know what that rite would be under Islamic law, however in the Jewish rite the microwave has to be boiled with a stone for several hours, which would destroy the microwave. In short the lady not understanding Islamic law has in effect destroyed the office microwave, at the very least she has made it unusable by her religious co-workers. Now understand that if the pork touched a lunchroom table, that table is also now unclean and has to also be cleansed, before a Muslim can use it, because it is unclean and a Muslim can not touch something unclean. In short the employer has now to expend a great deal of money to make the lunchroom clean enough for his / her religious employees to use it. A major point not brought out in the news reports. By not bringing out these points, the news media is adversely impacting the Muslim and oddly enough the orthodox Jewish communities.

So the question has to be who is infringing on whose right of religious freedoms here.
You've got my attention now.  Ritually unclean.  The two ER nurses who refused to let me see the ER doctor in my VA hospital three years ago were never so much as reprimanded, because my VA hospital is associated with a Seventh Day Adventist med school.  I nearly bled to death, because their religious sensibilities were outraged by my daring to seek help for excessive bleeding due to dysfunctional uterine bleeding.  They actually shouted at me!  I survived because I managed to persuade somebody to push the wheelchair I was lolling in as the blood was seeping out of me to the patient advocates office, and one of them heard me weeping and found a doctor to see me and call the gyn surgeon.  

All because, to these nurses, I was ritually unclean and their religion came before their profession.  

I wonder how many women have bled to death because they either couldn't get help or were too ashamed to seek help?  

Nonny
Those two nurses should have been nailed to the wall; I would have sued the hospital and the two nurses individually. AND filed a federal civil rights complaint. Did you know that something like 200,000 people die a year due to medical mistakesÖ

Sparky::

Edited by emsparks, 05 August 2004 - 11:48 AM.

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#33 Nonny

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:17 PM

emsparks, on Aug 5 2004, 04:43 PM, said:

Nonny, on Aug 5 2004, 12:23 PM, said:

emsparks, on Aug 5 2004, 04:04 PM, said:

While Cardie touched on it let me reiterate, to simplify based on what CNN said the woman in question used an office microwave to cook bacon. From what I know, in both the orthodox Jewish, and Muslim tradition, that makes the Microwave unusable by the religious employees, they canít even touch it, until a special cleansing rite is performed. Now I do not know what that rite would be under Islamic law, however in the Jewish rite the microwave has to be boiled with a stone for several hours, which would destroy the microwave. In short the lady not understanding Islamic law has in effect destroyed the office microwave, at the very least she has made it unusable by her religious co-workers. Now understand that if the pork touched a lunchroom table, that table is also now unclean and has to also be cleansed, before a Muslim can use it, because it is unclean and a Muslim can not touch something unclean. In short the employer has now to expend a great deal of money to make the lunchroom clean enough for his / her religious employees to use it. A major point not brought out in the news reports. By not bringing out these points, the news media is adversely impacting the Muslim and oddly enough the orthodox Jewish communities.

So the question has to be who is infringing on whose right of religious freedoms here.
You've got my attention now.  Ritually unclean.  The two ER nurses who refused to let me see the ER doctor in my VA hospital three years ago were never so much as reprimanded, because my VA hospital is associated with a Seventh Day Adventist med school.  I nearly bled to death, because their religious sensibilities were outraged by my daring to seek help for excessive bleeding due to dysfunctional uterine bleeding.  They actually shouted at me!  I survived because I managed to persuade somebody to push the wheelchair I was lolling in as the blood was seeping out of me to the patient advocates office, and one of them heard me weeping and found a doctor to see me and call the gyn surgeon.  

All because, to these nurses, I was ritually unclean and their religion came before their profession.  

I wonder how many women have bled to death because they either couldn't get help or were too ashamed to seek help?  

Nonny
Those two nurses should have been nailed to the wall; I would have sued the hospital and the two nurses individually. AND filed a federal civil rights complaint. Did you know that something like 200,000 people die a year due to medical mistakesÖ

Sparky::
We tried, but they got away with it because the hospital administration managed to persuade the regional authority that there was no problem.  They just swept it all under the rug.  Actual witnesses were not interviewed and the statements of people who weren't involved at all taken.  I suspect that some people who would have helped me had the blood been from a respectable injury, like, say, a knife or gunshot wound, were too squeamish to want to be involved.  Possibly they imagined I'd be too ashamed to speak out.  

However, I have recently enjoyed some measure of justice.  The VA hospital has to pay for my gyn care elsewhere, and I've found an excellent local gyn who will be doing my next round of surgery at an excellent local hospital.  And while that was all happening, I managed to get my physical therapy fee-based as well.   :cool:  :cool:  :cool:  

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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

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#34 Cheile

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:20 PM

i agree with Sparky on your incident, Nonny.  that is appalling.  if they're so afraid of "unclean" patients, they need to get out of the nursing business.

as for the topic of this thread i think it is discrimination.  i don't see how an employer can tell their employees what they can and cannot eat.  if these Muslim (or whateveR) managers are so afraid of "unclean" appliances they should get their own microwave/tables/etc.  they can afford it with the money that upper management makes.

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#35 Nonny

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:22 PM

Handmaiden07, on Aug 5 2004, 04:28 PM, said:

Nonny, on Aug 5 2004, 12:23 PM, said:

All because, to these nurses, I was ritually unclean and their religion came before their profession. 

I wonder how many women have bled to death because they either couldn't get help or were too ashamed to seek help? 

Nonny
Its one of those touchy subjects - like also the Jehovah's Witnesses refusal to allow themselves or their children blood transfusions.    

HM07
I would draw a line here between people refusing treatment for themselves or their children and health care professionals refusing to provide treatment, between your religion affecting your own or your family's health and your religion affecting somebody else's health.  I would not agree with somebody refusing treatment, but I would love to see somebody refusing to treat run out of the profession.  I wish I had been more effective against the two nurses.  

Nonny

Edited by Nonny, 05 August 2004 - 12:22 PM.

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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#36 Nonny

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:28 PM

Cheile, on Aug 5 2004, 05:18 PM, said:

i agree with Sparky on your incident, Nonny.  that is appalling.  if they're so afraid of "unclean" patients, they need to get out of the nursing business.

as for the topic of this thread i think it is discrimination.  i don't see how an employer can tell their employees what they can and cannot eat.  if these Muslim (or whateveR) managers are so afraid of "unclean" appliances they should get their own microwave/tables/etc.  they can afford it with the money that upper management makes.
Ritually unclean has certainly become a hot button issue for me.  

Does anyone know how pork was determined to be ritually unclean?  One theory I heard a while back dwelt on the deliciousness of pork, suggesting that denial is a minor form of ascetism.  

Nonny
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#37 tennyson

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:53 PM

Another theory I read a while back dealt with the logistics of raising and feeding pigs in the Ancient Near East and how pigs were the least efficient source of protien available. I'll see if I can dig it up.
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#38 sierraleone

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 12:55 PM

^ and also, whats it called? Trac something. A disease of pigs that can be passed onto humans that consume that meat, and I don't beleive killing cooks it. But then I could be wrong.
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#39 Rhys

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 01:01 PM

Cheile, on Aug 5 2004, 01:18 PM, said:

i don't see how an employer can tell their employees what they can and cannot eat.
They aren't - they're just telling them what they can bring in to work.  An employer would be entitled to say "no blue shirts" if they wanted (in fact, may require certain modes of dress at work).  The woman was, apparently, told this was a rule at the office, and was even warned once, but chose to ignore it.

As for "their own, no-pork microwave" - they had one.  The woman chose to use it anyway.  Perhaps she should have supplied her own.

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#40 Jid

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 01:03 PM

sierraleone, on Aug 5 2004, 11:53 AM, said:

^ and also, whats it called? Trac something. A disease of pigs that can be passed onto humans that consume that meat, and I don't beleive killing cooks it. But then I could be wrong.
Trichinosis.

It's essentially wiped out by now, but it was one of the main reasons you always cooked pork for a lot longer than a lot of other animals (like rarer roasts of beef etc) - it's a parasite, and is killed by cooking at proper temperatures :)



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