Want a Job at Subway? This Owner’s Looking for a Few Honest Christians…

The Subway sandwich chain is very clear on its website that it’s an equal opportunity employer. They say that they:

[do] not tolerate discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, color or national origin within the SUBWAY® brand family.

Kermit Ball operates about 20 Subways in the Charleston, West Virginia area and I guess no one told him about the anti-discrimination policy because he has made it very clear that Christians should apply to work for him because he needs some “honest” employees…

I assume this is what Ball’s workers would wear (via Creation Marketing)

[Ball] may have violated the state Human Rights Act when he sent a letter to several churches and congregations saying his company was “in need of Christian employees.”

The letter, in part, reads: “Due to changing times, we are looking for good honest people. If you have anyone in your congregation in need of a job, or new career, please have them contact us at the address provided above. We are looking for sandwich artists, shift managers, assistant managers and supervisers. The Hammond Group owns and operates 20 Subway restaurants. We are a Christian based company and in need of Christian employees.

When asked about the letter, Ball reiterated its points.

“Robbery and theft in stores is really, really high and we’re trying to find honest people to run registers,” Ball said. “I’m not elaborating on anything, our owners are Christians.”

Since he won’t say it out loud, I’ll do it for him: Ball thinks that Muslim and atheist workers would be thieves. Sikhs, too. And Pagans.

“The concern is… the implication of the letter is only Christians are good, honest people,” said Paul Dalzell, a worship service leader, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Charleston, which received a copy of the letter.

Monsignor Edward Sadie of Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral in Charleston wasn’t sure if his church received the letter.

“There are a lot of other non-Christians, Jews, Muslims and some immigrants that may be Sikhs, Hindus that are honest, hard-working faith-filled individuals,” Sadie said. “I don’t know that you need to be a Christian to make a good Subway sandwich.”

The ad for Ball’s company (which owns the Subway stores) is still up on on at least one church website.

This may not be outright discrimination. You could argue that Ball is just recruiting employees — and if an atheist (or other non-Christian) applied for a job at one of his stores, s/he wouldn’t be disqualified upon arrival. You have to wonder, though, what would happen if someone wearing a turban or hijab applied to work at one of his stores… would that person really get a fair chance?

More disturbing is the notion that, somehow, in Ball’s mind, Christianity is synonymous with honesty. Which may also suggest that non-Christians are dishonest. We’re talking about someone who’s a bigot, whether or not he’s breaking the law. And do you really want to buy sandwiches from a store owned by a guy like that?

So far, the Subway corporation hasn’t said anything condemning this practice. Even if it’s technically legal, it’s a poor reflection on them to have a franchisee act like this.

If you don’t eat at Chick-fil-A because of the owner’s bigoted views on homosexuality, then you may want to hold off on eating at a Subway until this issue gets resolved.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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