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Double Standard?


Unknowing1
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Recently the place where I work underwent EEOC training. All employees were required to attend. The training was pretty in depth and covered all aspects of what could justify a complaint, including but not limited to religion. So we were put on notice that we must watch what we do and what we say.

 

We recently had a case where an employee was telling another employee about something they had heard Chris Rock say on the comedy channel. She was repeating what he had said. Another employee overheard it and filed a complaint which my employer took very seriously. The employee who was repeating what Chris Rock had said had to apologize to the person who filed the complaint and was written up. A written reprimand stays in the persons personnel file for one year and one more written reprimand will result in immediate firing. The person was not directing the comments to the other person, she was not agreeing with anything Chris Rock said but was just repeating what he said.

 

Now that it is the Xmas season there are Christmas Cards being given out with Xian messages, Christmas Trees in the lobby area that are now being called Holiday Trees, Xmas trees put up throughout the building in the various work areas, nativity scenes and get this, a message of how the red stripe of a candy cane is the blood of Christ. There are no menorah's or Kawanza decorations.

 

My employer has allowed this and hasn't said one word. I just wonder why the double standard. You can't repeat something you see on tv but you sure can express your religious beliefs.

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Can you file a complaint about it?

 

(is it worth it?)

 

No, I wouldn't file a complaint about the Xmas stuff, that really doesn't bother me, what does is the double standard. The only way to stop the double standard would be to file a complaint about the religion in the work place and that would make me the most hated employee there and while retaliation is against federal law, you know they do it anyway, just do it so they can't get caught.

 

Honestly if I was the girl who got written up, I'd file the complaint.

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I think as atheists we must choose our battles wisely. I only raise a fuss when something really effects my life. I don't care if there is a Nativity scene in public or that it says in God we trust on money, but when religion starts infringing on my rights like what books I can read or it stops medical research that could save my ass some day, then I would get active. We must not waste out time making a spectical of ourselves over trivial issues like the guy who tries to take God out of the pledge. Who the fuck cares?

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I think as atheists we must choose our battles wisely.

I absolutely agree with this. Indeed I think as people we must choose our battles wisely. In fact I've heard it said that wisdom resides in knowing which battles to fight.

 

I am becoming ever more convinced that it is of greater profit to me to try and rid myself of my own misunderstandings and delusions rather than try and rid others of theirs.

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Recently the place where I work underwent EEOC training...

 

We recently had a case where an employee was telling another employee about something they had heard Chris Rock say on the comedy channel. She was repeating what he had said. Another employee overheard it and filed a complaint which my employer took very seriously. The employee who was repeating what Chris Rock had said had to apologize to the person who filed the complaint and was written up. A written reprimand stays in the persons personnel file for one year and one more written reprimand will result in immediate firing. The person was not directing the comments to the other person, she was not agreeing with anything Chris Rock said but was just repeating what he said....

 

Now that it is the Xmas season there are Christmas Cards being given out with Xian messages...nativity scenes and get this, a message of how the red stripe of a candy cane is the blood of Christ. There are no menorah's or Kawanza decorations.

 

I don't know what EEOC is, what country you are living in (re exact wording of laws), or who Chris Rock is. I think that employee should have clarified that the offensive item was simply a quote and not a personal statement, and therefore not punishable under existing rules.

 

I think at this point it would be appropriate for her to tell the employer: Look, you punished me for quoting a religiously offensive item. I find it religiously offensive that Christian messages are displayed throughout this workplace at Christmas time.

 

I think that would be appropriate. What I don't know if whether this would be a viable option for the employee because consequences could be unfavourable. Winning a court case some months or years down the road is not going to put food on the table or clothes on anyone's back in the meantime.

 

Given that she may not want to do that for whatever reason, I also think it might be appropriate for you to complain that your rights to religious freedom have been violated, but not to mention the treatment of the other employee. Religious freedom can be interpreted to mean not only freedom to worship as you like, but also freedom not to worship if you so like. If you have not already done so, you may want to check out Freedom From Religion Foundation.

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Every few years where I work we have harassment training, basically a lawyer comes in and tells us what we can not say in the work place (that's pretty much nothing but work related issues). We can not talk about religion, personal opinions, politics, and almost no jokes. I have seen people take notes during class so they can learn how to sue people for harassment, that's right the lawyers basically teach people how to sue each other.

 

I learned that when someone else overhears others conversations and finds it offensive they get to make a complaint that could lead to being a lawsuit, it's called third party harassment.

 

The employer has to do something about the person being accused or the employer can also be sued.

 

If someone feels harassed they have one year to make the complaint or the statute of limitations runs out.

 

Currently where I work at least 17 harassment suits are going through the courts.

 

What the hell happened to freedom of speech?

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Every few years where I work we have harassment training, basically a lawyer comes in and tells us what we can not say in the work place (that's pretty much nothing but work related issues). We can not talk about religion, personal opinions, politics, and almost no jokes. I have seen people take notes during class so they can learn how to sue people for harassment, that's right the lawyers basically teach people how to sue each other.

 

Okay, that answers some of my questions in the post above.

 

What the hell happened to freedom of speech?

 

Let's put it this way: What happened to the golden rule?

 

Maybe this is evidence that the golden rule never actually worked; it just sounded good.

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I love my workplace. If the sexual harrassment police ever stopped by we would be closed down immediately. My department at the hospital is filled with dirty minded, foul mouthed men and women who are one big happy family. I have a friend who works at the post office who says he can't even tell a joke. What the fuck is wrong with people these days?

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I think as atheists we must choose our battles wisely.

I absolutely agree with this. Indeed I think as people we must choose our battles wisely.

 

I third that - making a big deal about every little thing only makes you look like an asshole. Plus, it doesn't give Atheists a good name when Atheists go around whining about every stupid Xmas display or whatever.

 

That, and anyone who gets offended by overhearing a joke told between other people really ought to grow up and mind their own business. People are way too uptight today. American society is either full of thugs or full of pussies.

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I think as atheists we must choose our battles wisely.

Here, here! Xtians are so paranoid, always thinking the "evil athiest conspiracy" is out to get them. If we react to petty stuff. we play right into their hands.

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Hi all,

 

Just to clarify, my rant wasn't about the Xmas stuff, because I am actually sitting here in a room at home that has a tree, stockings hung at the mantle waiting for Santa, snow globes etc., My office has Christmas cards sitting on the cradenza that were given to me and I am about to hand out my holiday greeting cards (Happy Holidays). I have no other decorations in my office at work because I have been too busy to put out my snowmen. And no I don't celebrate Jesus birth, I celebrate the season, I love the lights and smells of the season. I keep white lights in my florida room year round. Snowmen and some Santa are the holiday themes for me.

 

The only thing at work that truly is getting on my nerves is an employee who sits outside my office who blares her gospel music and sings and hums to it all day. It's not even so much the type of music as it is the loudness of it and that she can't carry a tune worth a darn. If she didn't sing I might even be able to deal with the loudness of it. Yes I could close my door but then I have to deal with comments being made about my not wanting to be accessable. And if I complain I run the risk of it being taken as my limiting her religion.

 

My point of the rant was the double standard. An employee who gets written up because of a conversation overheard between two employees about a tv show they saw versus the blatent in your face decorations, the renaming of a Christmas tree to a holiday tree by my employer just so someone cannot file a complaint. To me the law just doesn't make sense. Both are against EEOC (United States law) but one is allowed because no complaint has been registered and one is not because a complaint was made. What gets me the most is that I do not work for a private employer. I am a public/government employee.

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The only thing at work that truly is getting on my nerves is an employee who sits outside my office who blares her gospel music and sings and hums to it all day. It's not even so much the type of music as it is the loudness of it and that she can't carry a tune worth a darn. If she didn't sing I might even be able to deal with the loudness of it. Yes I could close my door but then I have to deal with comments being made about my not wanting to be accessable. And if I complain I run the risk of it being taken as my limiting her religion.

 

You should be able to ask her nicely, without going to the higher ups, to please turn the music down because you are trying to work and it is too distracting. I imagine it would be distracting, no matter what type of music it was. If someone was singing loudly and off-key to Barry Manilow or Madonna or whomever, I'd ask them politely to please turn it down too. Or you could just leave a set of headphones on her desk anonymously. Maybe she will get the point.

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There needs to be an in-depth social understanding that taking offense at something is not a strength, but a weakness that a person establishes for themselves upon faulty ideologies and becomes such a weakness when they begin to entome their lively-hood around it.

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There needs to be an in-depth social understanding that taking offense at something is not a strength, but a weakness that a person establishes for themselves upon faulty ideologies and becomes such a weakness when they begin to entome their lively-hood around it.

 

Excellent point! I will make a point to remember it. Thanks!

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The only thing at work that truly is getting on my nerves is an employee who sits outside my office who blares her gospel music and sings and hums to it all day. It's not even so much the type of music as it is the loudness of it and that she can't carry a tune worth a darn. If she didn't sing I might even be able to deal with the loudness of it. Yes I could close my door but then I have to deal with comments being made about my not wanting to be accessable. And if I complain I run the risk of it being taken as my limiting her religion.

 

My point of the rant was the double standard. An employee who gets written up because of a conversation overheard between two employees about a tv show they saw versus the blatent in your face decorations, the renaming of a Christmas tree to a holiday tree by my employer just so someone cannot file a complaint. To me the law just doesn't make sense. Both are against EEOC (United States law) but one is allowed because no complaint has been registered and one is not because a complaint was made. What gets me the most is that I do not work for a private employer. I am a public/government employee.

 

Ah, you remind me of why I left my desk job four years ago. In situations like this, you need to take on a professional attitude, and never let on that you've been offended. Your options, as I see them, are as follows:

 

1. Tell her that you find her music distracting, and request that she wear headphones and refrain from singing along with her hymns. After all, it is a workplace; a certain degree of professionalism is to be expected.

2. Play your own music. To avoid being seen as retaliating, you may wish to opt to wear headphones. Perhaps noise cancelling headphones.

3. Close your door. This is probably the least confrontational option.

4. File a complaint. Tact would dictate that you first give her the opportunity to rectify the problem before taking that next step. This will in all likeliness solve the problem, though you can remain confident that she will carry a grudge and will jump at any opportunity to stab you in the back in the future.

5. Do nothing. Something you seem to have been doing thus far.

 

Life is full of double standards, and indeed is not fair. All I can advise is, always maintain a professional demeanour in all work-related affairs, and don't let the petty stuff irk you so. Work is work, trust nobody. Keep note and score of those who do complain, and avoid them at all costs.

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"Milton, could you please turn your radio down just a little bit? Just, as a personal favour?"

"I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven."

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You guys have some great suggestions and I thank you for them.

 

Friday was just a bad day for me and while I normally ignore it I had just reached the point were it all bothered me. But it only bothers me at times, usually I block it out or if it does get bad and I am working on something where I really need to concentrate, I'll take my work elsewhere. Not an ideal situation for me but I do it because I do not want to alienate anyone. Friday was just one of those days and because of what I was working on I couldn't leave my desk to do it elsewhere.

 

As for the double standard, I understand if an employee takes exception to something someone says that the employer is obligated to take action. What I do not like is that when someone said something about the Christmas Tree in the lobby my employer said that's not a Christmas Tree, it's a holiday tree. Well someone found something offensive about it (wasn't me who complained) and my employer skirted the issue and the only action taken was to rename the decoration. They pick and choose which portion of the EEOC they want to administer and to me that isn't right.

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I think as atheists we must choose our battles wisely. I only raise a fuss when something really effects my life. I don't care if there is a Nativity scene in public or that it says in God we trust on money, but when religion starts infringing on my rights like what books I can read or it stops medical research that could save my ass some day, then I would get active. We must not waste out time making a spectical of ourselves over trivial issues like the guy who tries to take God out of the pledge. Who the fuck cares?

I the fuck care.

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Of course it's a double standard, you're a gov't employee right? :HaHa:

 

Seriously though, I work for the gov't and had the exact same thing happen to me.

It's still ongoing too. I was accused of attacking a coworker based on her beliefs.

The offending conduct was discussing the DaVinci Code with another coworker.

They "investigated" it and in the end none of it could stick. I put it all on the table.

I told them this was a dangerous path to travel. Being how the majority of them

are flaming christians, it would hurt them worse if god was completely removed

from work. But I had no interest or desire to that. I do not care what people

believe or how they express it. However, they cannot tell me individually to

shut up. The original complaint was verbal. I asked for all future complaints to

be put in writing. Those complaints are to actually contain documentation of the

supposedly offensive comments. Also, all supervisory responses are to be written

with specific instructions on what is offensive and what I can/can not say in regards

to religion. I explained that in writting I have recourse. Everything right now is

happy go lucky just like before the complaint. They can talk about their "good lord"

and all the happy jesus crap they want. I generally don't respond to it, just like

before the complaint. However, when I and the only other non christian in my office

talk about things amongst ourselves, I will not be told to shut up.

 

On the other hand, you know as well as I do there are "other ways" to get fired.

I am very carefull about my conduct and job performance. I currently have to watch

out for baiting.

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You are right I am a gov't employee.

 

What you just described is exactly what happened to my co-worker. She was talking with another employee about something she had seen on t.v. and well...But in her case it stuck and they wrote her up. Even her supervisor (who is the person who told me about it) thought it was bogus but she couldn't do anything to help the girl out.

 

I too have no desire to remove christianity or any other religious beliefs from the work place. Heck they all think I am a full fledge Christian because I keep my personal beliefs to myself and I hope to keep it that way because I do fear retribution. They would not outright fire me based on my beliefs but there are other ways just as you said. There are two people at work who kind of know how I feel and they seem to feel the same way. We do discuss things at times but it is always outside of the building because there is always that fear.

 

On another note, I'll probably have a sexual harrassment complaint filed against me. Yesterday, I lifted my pants leg to my knee to pull up my sock and to check on my extremly dry skin (I was in my office when I did it). Not that you wouldn't see the same amount of leg if I was wearing a skirt but another co-worker saw me and made a comment that his old heart couldn't take it (just joking around of course). If anyone else saw me do it and heard his comment and has taken offense, man am I in trouble.

 

I don't disagree that laws are needed because people do discriminate. But there doesn't appear to be exceptions. To get in trouble for discussing a movie/book or t.v. show or lifting a pants leg to your knee to pull up a sock is just plain ridiculous. Why is it Christians can be so blatent about their beliefs but those who do not hold the same belief can't even discuss their beliefs with someone else who holds the same belief. It just doesn't seem fair.

 

Anakin, I am sorry for what you had to go through. You shouldn't have even had to explain yourself. I am glad it worked out for you though. But do watch out. Once you have proven them wrong, they don't tend to forget. At least that is the case in my agency.

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I think it's so cute how people think they can put a Christmas tree up, call it a "holiday tree" and think they can get away with it. Because we all know no matter what your religion or personal celebration this winter is, we all put up "holiday trees", and hang up "holiday stockings", and eat "holiday hams" and "holiday fruitcakes".

 

Why, the a Muslim establishment could force its employees to fast this month from sunup to sundown, but as long as it's labeled a "holiday fast", it is not only acceptable but full of multicultural holiday cheer.

 

Give me a fucking break. If you put a nativity scene out and decide to call it a "holiday nativity" - guess what, it's still Christian and thereby unacceptable in a non-denominational workplace. A Christmas tree is still a fucking Christmas tree; putting "holiday" in front of it won't make Jews and Muslims put one up in their homes and associate it with the general season. IT'S STILL A FUCKING CHRISTMAS TREE! Jeebus, I hate how everyone just pussyfoots around with "holiday" this and "holiday" that. We can still have a "holiday" that's defined by religiously and culturally ambiguous snowflakes, for example. And it's a lot easier to put up said snowflakes than drag out 20 matching decorated trees to fill out the office lobby.

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