Don’t Harass Your Religious Colleagues in the Workplace

This is just a reminder that your atheism doesn’t give you license to be an asshole at work.

Don’t be a workplace bully

In other words, don’t be like Portland Parks & Recreation worker Theresa Lareau who told her Christian co-worker KellyMarie Griffin the following:

“I am tired of your Christian attitude”

“You know you are praying to a figment of your imagination, right?”

“I’m not talking about your God; I’m talking about something else;”

“I’m tired of your Christian attitude and your Christian shit all over your desk and your Christian shit all over the place. I’m going to file a complaint against you the next time I sneeze and you say ‘bless you’. You’re just doing it for the attention; you wear it on your sleeve like a badge and I’m sick of it. It offends me.”

That’s only the beginning of a long string of harassment charges against Lareau.

Earlier this month, a jury awarded Griffin $14,080, to be paid by the city of Portland, for subjecting her to a hostile work environment and not taking “effective steps to end the harassment.” Lareau will have to pay $5,300 in economic damages.

Part of working for a government organization means that you will work alongside people with whom you disagree on all sorts of issues. By lashing out at her religious colleague, Lareau took an uncomfortable situation and made it far worse. The office just isn’t the right place to have religious debates — certainly not with someone who never agreed to that conversation.

(via Religion Clause — Image via Shutterstock)

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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