MI - Muslim flight attendant suspended for refusing to serve alcohol, 25 Aug 2015

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by K_Z, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Hejlena

    Hejlena Former Member

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    Can you elaborate?

    Eta Christians and Jewish in America have been picking which religious rules to "get all concerned about" for hundreds of years.
     


  2. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    As Hejlena aptly points out, there is a range of "devoutness" within many religions. And that alone can cause a lot of confusion, friction, and animosity in the workplace, because everyone is confused about what is "supposed to be" happening at work.

    Let's say 3 employees identify as adherents to "religion XYZ", and only one of them have a "will not do" list. It's no longer clear to either the other employees or the customers, or even the employer/ managers what each person "will or will not do" in the performance of their duties. Maybe one employee adherent to religion XYZ pressures another employee adherent to add to their "will not do" list, in solidarity. Or management insists all three employees of that religion have the same accommodations (so the employer won't get sued). Or the 2 lesser observant employees are treated more favorably by management, or co-workers, or the public, and the strictly observant employee becomes marginalized? Where does it end?

    Defining what are "reasonable" accommodations legally is really critical-- and what is reasonable in one work environment, may be completely unreasonable in another work environment.

    It is a particularly thorny situation for employers and managers to navigate-- especially if employees are continuously adding to their "will not do" list. That impacts everyone-- especially employees who have to do more, to cover for whatever someone else isn't willing to do.

    As a nation, we are just beginning the public conversation about these issues. It's only going to become more complicated as more and more "copycat" religious activists make "demands" in the workplace. We just saw in TN a Judge who is refusing to issue a divorce decree, until the SCOTUS defines for HIM what constitutes divorce-- as a counter action to the marriage license clerk situation.

    I think it's only going to get worse.
     
  3. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    The no lying, no adultry, etc etc etc.

    Do they refuse to serve cheaters, for instance?
     
  4. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    This is from 2007, but this is a similar argument to what we are hearing from the attorney in the ExpressJet flight attendant case:

    http://archive.kare11.com/news/article/145798/0/Muslim-cab-drivers-may-get-fined-by-MSP-airport-

    The taxi drivers didn't succeed in blocking the penalties. I'm sure ExpressJet attorneys weighed in on the suspension of this FA, and the grounds for the suspension were for "more" than just refusing to serve alcohol-- that the issue of the alcohol onboard created a cascade of other duties she was unwilling to perform. Clearly she was unwilling to resign, and equally clearly she did not ask for a transfer to another role/ environment within the company. The company can't talk about their side of the story due to privacy, so right now the FA and her attorney get to control the presentation of their issues in the media. The company will have their day in court.

    I think ExpressJet is going to come out as the winner in this lawsuit-- JMO. There may be other precedent cases besides the cab drivers in MN, but that was pretty well litigated. I think the cases are very similar in their complaints. She serves the public in her role as a FA. She can't pick and choose who she will serve inflight, based on her religious views.

    She does have religious freedom-- she is free to choose NOT to work for ExpressJet as a FA.
     
  5. LemonCloud

    LemonCloud Member

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    Why would she apply for this job in the first place? I am proud of living in a country where we may be openly religious without repercussion, I respect all religions and am religious as well, but when it interferes with work in a way such as this, then it has gone TOO FAR!!
     
  6. Hejlena

    Hejlena Former Member

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    No, but it's practically a given that they are able to keep the Sabbath – it's a non-issue. But I'm sure it was an issue at some point in time. And don't even get me started on the whole disconnection between Christian conservatives who have been allowed to prevent our children from learning about sexual education and at the same time make it practically impossible to have an abortion. Jmo
     
  7. bluesneakers

    bluesneakers not today satan

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    The story says she converted after working the job for a year.
     
  8. sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    I'm forming my opinions on this issue as we go along, and it's definitely evolving. I think that under the existing legal framework, the marriage license chick is probably entitled to some reasonable accommodation (per the article I linked to in that thread).

    But now I'm thinking we need to reconsider that whole legal framework. The points that you're bringing up are important and have the ability to throw a workplace in chaos. And I think you're right that it's only going get worse. I'm starting to think we need to throw out the entire "accommodation" framework and allow employers to set job requirements, enforce job requirements, and terminate employees who refuse to to fulfill job requirements.

    Wouldn't it be nice if employers had the freedom to require employees do the job for which they were hired?
     
  9. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    My husband and I were talking about these issues, and we sort of laughed that at some point, all workers (including professionals) will have to wear a dry erase sandwich board listing what they "will" and "will not do" each day, according to their personal beliefs, in the performance of their jobs, so that everyone has an up to date list every day! :gaah: :facepalm:
     
  10. human

    human Well-Known Member

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    We can have all of the religious ideas that we want. What we have is no right to impose them onto others.

    Someone else's spiritual choices have nothing to do with others. Everyone is on their own path.

    They need to worry about their own selves and not the choices of others. And quit wearing more than one fabric together
     
  11. KEVINinTO

    KEVINinTO Former Member

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    This reminds me of a case here in Toronto where two Muslim Chefs who worked in a French restaurant brought their employer before a Human Rights Tribunal (kangaroo court) because the owner required them to taste pork dishes they had cooked. Despite the fact that Pork dishes (and dishes made with wine) feature prominently on French menu's the tribunal sided with the Muslim men and ordered the Restaurant owners (small family business) to pay them $100,000 (also they were ordered to take "sensitivity training").

    I think that as the Muslim population explodes across North American we are going to see more and more cases like that with the result that a lot of employers will not hire Muslims (if I owned a business I would not hire them for fear of getting sued out of existence).

    http://www.torontosun.com/2015/05/2...wners-forced-to-pay-up-over-human-rights-case
     
  12. Hejlena

    Hejlena Former Member

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    I think legally it comes down to the "sincere" need for accomodation. I mean, marriage license chick can say it's against her religion to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples till the cows come home, but it's not against her religion. It's her *interpretation* of her religion, but it's widely expected and accepted in the Christian community now that same sex couples are here to stay and have a legal right to marry. Then again, I think there is language in the same law about moral issues as well, so who knows. Maybe she can be a conscientious objector. But the bottom line as far as I understand it-which I don't-is that her employer has a legal obligation to issue the licenses-so they have to find a way to accommodate her, rather than their customers having to accommodate her.

    And employers do have the right to require someone to do their job and to dismiss them if they're not doing their job – but with the amount of religious diversity in our country we have to be creative and find ways to accommodate that. This isn't in reference to your post but I get really really tired of hearing the same hateful people complaining that there are poor immigrant minorities in our country and then tying their hands in anyway that they can from getting meaningful work.

    I think that this flight assistant woman is overreaching and we'll see what the courts think about it – the fact of the matter is if an employer values an employee they will find in the accommodation for them, But if employers in general are starting with the mindset of "they came here to our country why should we have to do anything differently because we were here first", that's when the court system steps in.

    And remember – these freedoms were not just created on a scrap of paper when Muslims or Somali or Ba'hai or Mexicans or anyone else began coming here in waves. These freedoms are the foundation of our great country.
     
  13. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    What is concerning to me is that these kind of issues shift the mission of the workplace from whatever their actual mission is, to "managing" the personal issues of a very small minority of workers.

    It's a power grab, IMO, rather than a sincere set of actions on their beliefs. A way for some of these people to exert power over the employer. Once it gets to the point that lawsuits are filed, the productivity of the worker is pretty much gone, and the employer is spending a disproportionate amount of time and energy managing the issues (demands), and the fall out among the other employees, rather than running their business and/ or serving the public.

    It all comes down to the word "reasonable" in "reasonable accommodations." Everyone defines that word differently.
     
  14. Hejlena

    Hejlena Former Member

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    Your link didn't post, but no worries-I found the entire legal decision. This was not about "tasting pork because it was their job as chefs". Why do people think everyone is going to buy those half truths?

    http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onhrt/doc/2013/2013hrto2009/2013hrto2009.html

    The Bigues, especially the Mrs, were hateful bullies to these men. And the Kangaroo Court-you know the one that protects human rights?--made them pay for it.
     
  15. Montjoy

    Montjoy Inactive

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    Definitely not the first time I've seen that poster totally misrepresent a news article or legal case to make a baiting argument. I'm glad people aren't buying it.
     
  16. RT51

    RT51 Active Member

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    The airline business has struggled since 9/11 and the downfall of the economy. Many of these commuter airlines are actually under contract from a major airline. Express Jet used to be with Continental, so believe they are now under United. Delayed flights are fined by the FAA so the airline tries it's best to do an on time turnaround.

    I'm pretty sure this woman was probably offered another position, but has chosen to make this her hill to die on. I don't think it will turn out well.
     
  17. Hejlena

    Hejlena Former Member

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    What if your son or daughter went to work in some other country where some crappy dispicable people raped them or tortured them on a daily basis and said "it is our religious right to do this. If she doesn't like it she can go home." But it wasn't their religious right to do that, it was just some dispicable people's interpretation of their "right" because it allowed them to feel okay being crappy to Americans. And what if she couldn't go home because there was no home to go to. And what if the rest of these dispicable men's country just said, "well, you came here, so you deserve it.
     
  18. KEVINinTO

    KEVINinTO Former Member

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    I didn't "misrepresnet" a news article. Here is an exact quote from the article (don't know why the link doesn't work)

    Note that the claim that they were threatened with replacement by "white staff" was uncorroborated and IMO a fabrication by the complainants.
     
  19. Hejlena

    Hejlena Former Member

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    I agree
     
  20. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

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    JMO if some group often requires a lot of religious exemptions that the employers or co-workers find unreasonable or troublesome, silent discrimination in the recruitment process is going to be a real concern. Even those workers from those groups who would be willing to do anything and everything to get a job may find it more difficult to get hired if the employers are afraid of having to deal with refusals, complaints, and lawsuits.
     

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