Losing a Job on Religious Grounds

ChooseDoubt says he got fired because of his atheist views. His details are vague (he says he can’t go into detail for legal reasons), but if the story is true the way it’s described, it would be awful. And so very illegal.

I recently lost my job. I was forced out – fired – ostensibly for disagreeing with my boss over the subject of faith. He felt, as a catholic, it was absolutely fine for him to express a sincere distaste of all things Arab on the grounds of religion. I mentioned that I was an atheist and decided to defend my opinion in further conversation. Of course, this meant thoroughly undermining his own brand of fantasy.

So anyway, he decided he wanted me gone and gone I am, but since you can’t sack someone for their religion, or lack thereof, especially when you are a high ranking executive of a multinational who has just spewed forth a whole load of anti-Muslim rhetoric based on nothing whatsoever than your own catholic bullshit then they had to make me leave quietly. Quietly I left, and I shall remain quiet so as not to get my arse sued off, but I think it is quite safe to relay the very basics of the story. This is now done.



[tags]atheist, atheism, discrimination, Catholic, Arab, Muslim, Islam[/tags]

  • Desert Son

    Hemant,

    Seems too vague to call for sure, one way or the other (there’s a lot of “I said/he said,” all of which seems largely unverifiable), and because he is going to “go quietly,” as it were, we’ll never know (the particulars of the case won’t be judged in the public forum of a courtroom).

    In which case, I have to ask, does it contribute to greater awareness of issues surrounding equality and equal justice across belief systems to post this? Isn’t this muddying the waters?

    I’m not a lawyer, and I’ll happily stand corrected if folks have more/better information on this.

    Also, point of reference, I’m not bringing this up because I’m a secret believer trying to undermine the efforts of atheists to get equal recognition under the law, or something similar. But if (some) atheists pride themselves on scientific rigor, isn’t this data set too polluted to be reliable? I’m not saying discrimination (of all kinds) doesn’t happen; we all know it does, in myriad forms, and there’s plenty of legal documentation to back it all up. This particular example just strikes me as “not enough info.”

    That said, best of luck to ChooseDoubt in finding a new job, and one that, I hope, ChooseDoubt finds rewarding.

    No kings,

    Robert

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Firing someone on the basis of religious belief (including atheism) should be illegal under the Civil Rights acts. An atheist who is fired on that basis, or who has good reason to believe they have been should sue and/or contact the office of civil rights in their state. Don’t expect the federal Civil Rights Commission to do much for you with its present makeup, however.

  • http://choosedoubt.blogspot.com chooseDoubt

    Hi,

    I can’t give details as if I do I open myself up to legal action for violating the terms of my settlement. I can’t afford to do that and they knew that and that’s why I had to take the settlement instead of the fight. I’d have liked the fight but I don’t have the resources to handle it.

    I’m not in the US. I’m in Spain. The legal process here is slow and it is very difficult to find good representation. I’m also looking on the bright side in that I hated my job anyway and so being paid to leave was actually quite a pleasant coincidence for me.

    All the best,

    CD

  • Mriana

    I find this so sad and when such things happen, it’s makes it harder for others to come out and say what they believe or rather don’t believe. You would THINK in the 21st century things like this should not matter, but it seems to still matter to the religious. Even the politicians are coming out and trying to reach the religious by talking about their faith, just so they can get elected or re-elected. It’s just not right. :(

    With such beheviours, where does that leave others in the same boat? Stuck in the closet or hiding behind adjectives that they really don’t claim anymore or alike. :( Like I said, it’s rather saddening.

  • Desert Son

    ChooseDoubt,

    Thank you for clarifying some of the situation. I, for one, assumed you were in the United States (and thus afforded the legal representation of same), so your post helps put the situation in some context.

    No kings,

    Robert

  • Stephan

    ChooseDoubt, as a believer I am appalled that anyone would treat you that way. As a fellow laborer I applaud your effort to make the best of it. Any time you can get paid to NOT work, it is a good thing.

  • Darryl

    I assume this kind of thing is relatively rare because most people don’t care about one’s beliefs, and atheists probably keep a low profile most of the time. I’m glad this person was able to get a settlement. Whenever possible, companies like this need to have their asses sued off. That’s the only message they understand.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Iā€™m in Spain.

    The European Charter of Rights doesn’t cover this kind of thing?

    Article 21
    Non-discrimination
    1. Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic
    features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority,
    property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.
    2. Within the scope of application of the Treaty establishing the European Community and of the
    Treaty on European Union, and without prejudice to the special provisions of those Treaties, any
    discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.

  • http://choosedoubt.blogspot.com chooseDoubt

    There are two issues with this.

    The first is that having a right does not automatically mean that you are financially able to confront a violation of that right. In the Spanish system, assuming I had challenged and won, it would be a matter of years before any judgement was reached. The second is that I would have to prove that they wanted to remove me for that reason as opposed to another false reason given. It would have been a mess. They got rid of me, my ex-boss is happy. They had to compensate me, I’m relatively happy. On principal I would have preferred to fight but my principals don’t pay my bills and I have a life to get on with.

    If I’d loved my job I’m sure it would have been different but now I’m quite cheerful not to be working with people with whom I’d need to have such fights.

  • Maria

    if this guy hasn’t sued yet he definitely should. this is illegal and ridiculous

  • http://liberal-debutante.com Katie Kish

    I was fired for being an atheist… Well, actually… I was about to go into my 7th summer working at a camp but before the season started they called me and informed me that I wouldn’t be welcome at the camp that year. When I asked why, they said they had googled my name and discovered I had atheist views and thus didn’t want those “values” distributed onto the kids…

    And then when I blogged about it a few months later they tried to sue me for slander until I pointed out to them that they would be the ones in trouble for hiring based on religious beliefs… I haven’t heard from them since.

  • stogoe

    It’s ridiculously easy to fire someone because you don’t like their religion or skin color and get away with it. Almost any retributive firing is easily disguised as a firing ‘for cause’.

    It’s disgusting.


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