Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Will » Mon May 18, 2009 9:30 pm UTC

EnderSword wrote:
That is merely what the thread's starter posted, as a few people pointed out, she seems to have been let go more due to the illness.

No, it doesn't seem that way at all. It's not clear whether she was fired for being Atheist or because she took medical leave. It's hard to separate the two, really. The point is that neither of these are valid reasons for firing someone.

"Soon after this information came to light Amanda had to take time off from work due to breast cancer surgery and rehabilitation. She further claims that on her first day back to work she was fired and the main cause behind it was her lack of belief. "

So he learns she's an athiest, and nothing happens for a while....then she has to leave for cancer treatment and is gone a while, then is canned her first day back.

Uh, no, "nothing happened" doesn't even remotely describe the situation. When her boss found out she was Atheist he harrased her and, at one point, threatened her with termination if her husband didn't take down his blog which had "anti-Christian" sentiments. That's not "nothing."

It's not a strawman at all, the laws associated with this still require a valid reason to fire someone, they just don't let you over-turn those reasons by claiming discrimination.

What? This doesn't even make sense. You're saying "you need a valid reason to fire someone legally, but the law says you can fire someone for any reason."

You can still challenge the termination itself, just can't play the race card to do it.

The fuck did race come in? The "race card" has nothing to do with this discussion. And you're *still* contradicting yourself. If you can challenge the termination, but not on the basis of racial discrimination, what grounds can you challenge it on? The problem in this case is that she *can't* challenge the termination, because anti-discrimination laws specifically exempt small businesses.


and if that's invalid, you can challenge that. But that reason is allowed to be 'I need a receptionist and this one's in the hospital'
Unfortunate for the woman with health issues, but not illegal and not his responsibility.

Yes, it's not illegal. That's the problem. That's the entire crux of this discussion, that it's absurd that small businesses are exempt from these anti-discrimination laws.

I don't even really know how to address the argument that it's okay to fire someone because they needed to take medical leave. They could have easily found someone to take her place on a temporary basis--this happens all the time; it's half of the reason temp agencies exist.
But if you seriously think that it's okay just to fire someone because they need time off for life saving surgery, you're a fucking dipshit.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby MoghLiechty2 » Mon May 18, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

I wholeheartedly agree with Vaniver here. Nonwithstanding the huge amount of haze surrounding the actual reasons this person was fired, explicitly "Christian" organizations/companies as well as explicitly "Atheist" organizations (especially those of small size) should be free to hire and fire at will based on religion. A way back I wrote:
MoghLiechty2 wrote:Name me an "atheist business" that gets tangible business, social, or community value out of being "Atheism-Centered". (I'm sure there's some good examples that do exist, but I just want to see if this business not wanting a Christian really would create a huge political reaction).

To which I got:
Belial wrote:Why would it need to draw value from being atheism-centered?

All you'd need is a business run by an atheist, that fires poor, hardworking christians with medical problems for believing in their dear and fluffy lord.

It absolutely matters whether there is value drawn from being atheist-centered. There's a difference between indiscriminate discrimination, and discrimination that is necessary to the explicit goals of the organization. If an atheist organization (especially a small one) is working for the advancement of atheism in the community or society, I would expect very little public outcry over the firing of a Christian (depending on his or her role) from the organization, since a Christian could be duly expected not to conform to the goals of the organization, which can be determined on the sole basis of his or her religion.

Case in point, which I was given as a result to my challenge above:
Woofsie wrote:http://www.atheists-online.com/
I would see very little problem, depending on the person's position in the company, of removing a Christian from employment in this organization, since a Christian is unlikely to strive for the goals this particular anti-religion shirt company espouses. Now, as the company grows, however, this is where the situation changes. As it grows, there will be invariably more and more positions that are abolutely unrelated to this idea of goal congruence. A case couldn't easily be made for a Christian being fired, for example, that works on the assembly line of the second-party t-shirt manufacturing plant due to corporate pressure from the parent company.

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby EnderSword » Mon May 18, 2009 9:54 pm UTC

If they're doing the job, and they Can't do it because they're gone for ANY reason, you should be able to replace them.

It's a risk you take if you're at a business that size. They don't have the financial resources to support someone off for medical reasons. If you work at a small place, you'll have to get some insurance on your own for something like that.

Unfortunately, it is an entirely valid reason that you can't keep someone employed. Big company insures it and absorbs it, little one can't.

The fuck did race come in? The "race card" has nothing to do with this discussion. And you're *still* contradicting yourself. If you can challenge the termination, but not on the basis of racial discrimination, what grounds can you challenge it on? The problem in this case is that she *can't* challenge the termination, because anti-discrimination laws specifically exempt small businesses.


Race is a form of discrimination, right?
So it was 'in' since the conversation started. You're too focused on the precise news story. They used white christian people in the story, but this type of thing is going to be most common amongst minority races. More like in the examples I gave, a Korean restuarant, Jewish jeweler, small rug shop etc...
A very large number of small businesses are run by people who immigrated, which is a great addition to the economy and a good way for people to get started in a new country when they find their other skills may not be as transferable as they'd like.
But those are small businesses, and if they choose to hire within their own community for them, then why stop them?

There's 3 girls who run a business, running automated Movie rental machines who live in my building. One of them ownss it and employed the other 2 as it grew. If one of them ended up in the hospital for a year, they'd need a replacement, but they can't pay both because they're barely making enough as it is.
They'd either have to let her go, or destroy the business.

Some of your would prefer to just destroy the business, others think that's the risk of this type of thing.

If I insisted I wanted to fill her spot, and showed my resume and was clearly qualified more than the 3rd girl, could I sue if they didn't hire me to replace her instead of their 4th friend and claim it's cause I'm a male?

Some of you would have me perfectly able to do that, others realize that that too may be inappropriate.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Belial » Mon May 18, 2009 9:59 pm UTC

"We should because we can" is a horrible argument. I mean, if I was trying to demonize your position as a "tyranny of the majority" position, I'm not sure I could do it better.


No, we can do it because we can. We should do it because it's right.

Vaniver wrote:I disagree. Allow me to provide you with an example provided to me by Thomas Sowell- in 1936, only 3 black PhD holders were employed by all of the white colleges throughout the US, while the number of black PhD chemists employed by private industry was over 300. And that's one field. Now, that doesn't mean discrimination didn't exist when it came to hiring chemists- but that with private industry, the disincentive for passing up qualified workers is higher. As well, there's always the opportunity for the minorities to start their own businesses- and it'll be easier for them to do that if there isn't the HR overhead of complying with anti-discrimination laws.


So what you're saying is that if we let capitalism run unhindered for another 600 years or so, we might get marginally even closer to equality?

Oh boy.

Not good enough. When you come up with a way the free market can reach total nondiscrimination (or as close as even current laws allow) immediately, we can talk.

MoghLiechty2 wrote:If an atheist organization (especially a small one) is working for the advancement of atheism in the community or society, I would expect very little public outcry over the firing of a Christian (depending on his or her role) from the organization, since a Christian could be duly expected not to conform to the goals of the organization, which can be determined on the sole basis of his or her religion.


No it can't. Granted, the christian would have to be fucking nuts, but a christian could work for the advancement of atheism while still being christian. And if they weren't? You could fire them for not advancing the goals of the organization. Which is a concrete reason that has nothing to do with discrimination.

Furthermore, this isn't an organization for the advancement of christianity, it's a bloody chiropractor. It wants to be christ-oriented. Neat. If she was comfortable working there, and conformed to their policies, and was basically a model employee (the "best he'd ever had") up until her employer discovered she was an atheist (and mind that he didn't even *know* that for a while, it had so little effect on her job performance), it's really, really fucking irrelevant.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Crius » Mon May 18, 2009 10:05 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:There is a difference between a business of 10 employees letting go it's one (minority) and a business of 10,000 letting go all of their employees who are (minority).

There may be a difference if the reason behind the firing is different, but in this case it isn't. "I am firing you because you are a minority" is exactly the same in practice and in law as "I am firing all y'all because you are a minority".


If only the real world was always this clear-cut.

Hell, even in this very specific case, where the owner is clearly a douche, it's not clear that she was fired because she was an atheist. A reasonable explanation is that during her medical leave, the owner found out that the business could get by without her fine, and decided that she wasn't worth the cost of employing her. (most likely is was a combination of both those factors)

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Indon » Mon May 18, 2009 10:06 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I disagree. Allow me to provide you with an example provided to me by Thomas Sowell- in 1936, only 3 black PhD holders were employed by all of the white colleges throughout the US, while the number of black PhD chemists employed by private industry was over 300. And that's one field.

Would chemistry have been representative of the usual field in regards to minority hires? I might note that even now there are some high-paying fields in which minorities are well-represented or even overrepresented - due to inertia from before the field was high-paying and respectable. A contemporary example would be the nursing profession. Also, is this chemistry, or chemical engineering? It doesn't particularly matter very much, but apparently those are different fields.

If it's not representative of a typical field, then, well, it could easily caused by some understandable phenomenon such as with nursing, or, well, it could be a statistical fluke. And citing extreme cases of circumstance as evidence of a system's ability to function is, if anything, indicative of that system's lack of ability to function.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Blast » Mon May 18, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I disagree. Allow me to provide you with an example provided to me by Thomas Sowell- in 1936, only 3 black PhD holders were employed by all of the white colleges throughout the US, while the number of black PhD chemists employed by private industry was over 300. And that's one field.

The biggest piece of information missing here is how many total PhD chemists were employed by both white colleges and private industry. If the numbers are ~100 private chemists to 1 college chemist, then this is not an example of the free market trumping racial bias since the percentage of black employment is the same in each.

Also, it would be interesting to know how many total black PhD chemists there were. If there were 30,000, and only 303 were fully employed to the level of their credentials, then the effect of the free market was at most not a large effect, since the overwhelming majority on black chemists were unable to find work (assuming white chemists did not have similar employment problems). At the other extreme, if there were exactly 303 black PhD chemists, it could just mean private employment was more attractive.

I believe here in crazy marxist California the number of employees you need before you're liable for discrimination suits is much lower; I'm pretty sure sexual harassment liability starts with your first employee, for example. I was always under the impression that the circumstance these minimums were designed for was for hiring family, because if you're only employing family you will only (historically, at least) be employing one race. It be nice if reasonable exceptions like that were distinguished from "I don't like your husband's atheist blog, so you're fired."
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby MoghLiechty2 » Mon May 18, 2009 10:28 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
MoghLiechty2 wrote:If an atheist organization (especially a small one) is working for the advancement of atheism in the community or society, I would expect very little public outcry over the firing of a Christian (depending on his or her role) from the organization, since a Christian could be duly expected not to conform to the goals of the organization, which can be determined on the sole basis of his or her religion.


No it can't. Granted, the christian would have to be fucking nuts, but a christian could work for the advancement of atheism while still being christian. And if they weren't? You could fire them for not advancing the goals of the organization. Which is a concrete reason that has nothing to do with discrimination.

You think it's that easy or that simple for any organization to accurately measure employee performance. It's hard enough to measure it for quantifiable performance measures, let alone qualitative. Achieving goal congruence in any organization, big or small, is a main topic of business managment coursework. It's ...not.... easy. Performance measurement of an employee is a balance between the payoff of knowing whether the employee is performing beneficially and the cost of personally observing the employee for qualitative factors. Ideally, the employer would have to be the employee to know everything necessary for firing or keeping an employee, but knowing the employee to this extent would involve spending an equal amount of time as the employee just watching the employee. There's also the factor of the employee only performing well so that he or she won't get fired, or only performing well when being watched. It's easier (read: only way to stay in business) to hire on the basis of religion than hire indiscriminately (because the government forces you to) then play a game figuring out who's goal congruent when you knew they wouldn't likely be that way in the first place.

Furthermore, this isn't an organization for the advancement of christianity, it's a bloody chiropractor. It wants to be christ-oriented. Neat. If she was comfortable working there, and conformed to their policies, and was basically a model employee (the "best he'd ever had") up until her employer discovered she was an atheist (and mind that he didn't even *know* that for a while, it had so little effect on her job performance), it's really, really fucking irrelevant.

At this point, I'm not really even talking about this specific case. I don't have a darn clue whether the employer was justified in this situation. The point is, that it's impossible for the goverment to judge each and every individual case fairly to the point where small businesses aren't over their heads worrying about discrimination cases when all they want to do is further the interests of their own company. The best the government can do is make sure there's not systematic discrimination going on at large companies when it's obvious that it's not for the purpose of large-scale goal congruence.

And I'd love to hear the story from the employer's point of view, rather than only from the "Atheism Examiner".

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby EnderSword » Mon May 18, 2009 10:38 pm UTC

If I created a 'Investment Brokerages are all Thieves' blog, I might get fired too.
If it actually went against his 'healing techniques' it could be seen to attack his credibility, or even just taint his business with unpopular beliefs in his area.
Would you feel the same if he had a 'I hate n*****s blog? Instead of an I hate Christians blog?

Can be hard to find out what's reasonable, or what is even true about an accusation to begin with.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Blast » Mon May 18, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

Her employer's side: http://www.examiner.com/x-8948-Dallas-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m5d17-Religion-in-the-workplace-the-Christians-side-of-the-discrimination-story. Note: still from the Atheism Examiner.

I asked if the orientation of the office meant he only treated certain people and he said, “No, I treat anyone, but I’m a person of faith, connected to God, and I’ll hire anyone who is qualified.” However, he then immediately added, “but I do not want to hire anyone with a different world view.”
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Vaniver » Mon May 18, 2009 10:59 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Not good enough. When you come up with a way the free market can reach total nondiscrimination (or as close as even current laws allow) immediately, we can talk.
The free market can't do that, unless there's a limited supply of talented people (such that companies that refuse minorities will run out of talented people to hire).

And, besides, I've yet to be convinced that this is a worthwhile goal. Discrimination is inefficient- but the inefficiencies of government meddling, as well as the loss of rights, are higher. I am unwilling to force people to work with or employ people they are unwilling to work with or employ, or force people to prove that they are hiring and firing in a way the government thinks is best.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Belial » Mon May 18, 2009 11:02 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:The free market can't do that, unless there's a limited supply of talented people (such that companies that refuse minorities will run out of talented people to hire).

And, besides, I've yet to be convinced that this is a worthwhile goal.


Then there's not much to discuss.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Malice » Mon May 18, 2009 11:59 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:And, besides, I've yet to be convinced that this is a worthwhile goal. Discrimination is inefficient- but the inefficiencies of government meddling, as well as the loss of rights, are higher.


Discrimination isn't wrong because it's inefficient; it's wrong because it seriously harms minorities.

I am unwilling to force people to work with or employ people they are unwilling to work with or employ, or force people to prove that they are hiring and firing in a way the government thinks is best.


Are you also against laws forcing restaurant owners to serve food to a class of people they are otherwise unwilling to serve?
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby GhostWolfe » Tue May 19, 2009 12:04 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:I am 100% for giving small businesses an exemption to anti-discrimination laws. When your business is only 10 people, that everyone can work well with each other is critical, and can be the different between success and failure. The owner/manager being able to fire anyone he wants for any reason is likewise critical.

I disagree. Businesses, no matter how small, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Rather, the government should be protecting them from (dare I say it) frivolous lawsuits claiming discrimination. If a worker is not performing to standard then that business has a genuine reason for firing that person. Assuming a business conducted itself in a demonstratably ethical manner, then there should be absolutely no need for courts and lawyers when that person turns around and claims "they only fired be because I'm a <insert discrimination of choice here>". Suing a company - large or small - on grounds of discrimination should not be a disgruntled employees first form of recourse; and if protected from the costs (monetary and otherwise) of these actions, businesses should not need to be exempt from anti-discrimination law.

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Indon » Tue May 19, 2009 1:24 am UTC

GhostWolfe wrote:I disagree. Businesses, no matter how small, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Rather, the government should be protecting them from (dare I say it) frivolous lawsuits claiming discrimination. If a worker is not performing to standard then that business has a genuine reason for firing that person.

Easier said than done, methinks.

Say I start a business with a total of 4 people, only one of which is a stranger. Me and one other person are backing the effort with our own cash, so we're in charge, leaving two "employees".

How much documentation should I, as an 'employer' of two people, be collecting regarding their behavior? Especially if there's an informal feel to the whole thing.

This kind of environment doesn't involve a formal employee feedback system - no tracking of above or below-par performance is made. So if I fire someone based on performance, and I'm sued for discrimination, well, I suddenly find myself with zero records with which to demonstrate legal ground for my decision - and by civil evidence standards, it won't take much from there for me to lose that lawsuit.

It's not exactly like I (and the other person funding the organization) could afford to lose it, either.

So, yeah, it is something we would want to do, but it's not something we could necessarily make unexploitable - at least until some time in the future where managerial experience is ubiquitous enough in the population that we can expect companies of any size to maintain a modest paper trail.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby GhostWolfe » Tue May 19, 2009 1:30 am UTC

Indon wrote:How much documentation should I, as an 'employer' of two people, be collecting regarding their behavior? Especially if there's an informal feel to the whole thing.

This kind of environment doesn't involve a formal employee feedback system - no tracking of above or below-par performance is made.
For example, in Australia, you can legally fire someone if you have warned them three times about their performance and they still fall below par. That's all you need, three signed sheets of paper acknowledging that there has been an issue.

It's one of those things you wish you'd kept records of, but never think to do at the time.

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby btilly » Tue May 19, 2009 1:37 am UTC

phlip wrote:
PhoenixRider wrote:As I understand it, small businesses are allowed to hire and fire at will, because it's easy for one bad employee who's not quite bad enough to be fire-worthy to severely damage the company... so the big-business trick of waiting patiently for them to do something (anything) fireable isn't good enough. So they can fire for any (or even without) reason. Which, as a side-effect, makes anti-discrimination laws unenforceable.

I'm not sure yet whether I'm for or against the situation... there needs to be something to reduce the risk to a small company from hiring leeches who work just hard enough to not get fired.

I read through the whole thread to verify that nobody had noticed the obvious, and that several people repeated variations on your statement. But apparently nobody did.

The obvious being that Texas is an at will state. Meaning that any employer can fire an employee without even stating a reason. And it is perfectly legal unless there is an employment contract protecting the employee (there almost never is), or the employee can convince a court that the employer was firing the employee because of some reason that is prohibited by a discrimination law. So small companies don't need anything to make it easier to fire unproductive leeches. The corollary is that it is very hard to enforce anti-discrimination laws against employers who keep their lips closed. Fortunately lots of bad people are stupid.

I do not know why the discrimination laws would have exemptions for small companies. Perhaps it was fear of saddling small businesses with the possibility of a fatal lawsuit? The theory being that no matter how good your case is, the cost of defending a lawsuit can kill a small company. Larger companies are in a better position to handle such unexpected expenses. If so then I'd think that a better free market approach would be to let insurance companies sell small companies an insurance policy to defray the cost of defending against such unexpected events.

But regardless my point remains. In an at will state, a small company has enough freedom to fire people for any legitimate purpose that I can think of.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Malice » Tue May 19, 2009 1:42 am UTC

Indon wrote:
GhostWolfe wrote:I disagree. Businesses, no matter how small, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Rather, the government should be protecting them from (dare I say it) frivolous lawsuits claiming discrimination. If a worker is not performing to standard then that business has a genuine reason for firing that person.

Easier said than done, methinks.

Say I start a business with a total of 4 people, only one of which is a stranger. Me and one other person are backing the effort with our own cash, so we're in charge, leaving two "employees".

How much documentation should I, as an 'employer' of two people, be collecting regarding their behavior? Especially if there's an informal feel to the whole thing.

This kind of environment doesn't involve a formal employee feedback system - no tracking of above or below-par performance is made. So if I fire someone based on performance, and I'm sued for discrimination, well, I suddenly find myself with zero records with which to demonstrate legal ground for my decision - and by civil evidence standards, it won't take much from there for me to lose that lawsuit.


Wouldn't it be a better compromise to allow lawsuits against discriminatory firings, but put the burden of proof on the employee?
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Indon » Tue May 19, 2009 1:51 am UTC

Malice wrote:Wouldn't it be a better compromise to allow lawsuits against discriminatory firings, but put the burden of proof on the employee?


Perhaps, but how heavy a burden?

I mean, take this very case. How much proof does she have that she's being discriminated against for being atheist versus, say, her medical leave?

That might improve things insofar as _really_ blatant cases could have a chance to be addressed, though, even if it might not do anything for this case. Hmm.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby btilly » Tue May 19, 2009 1:56 am UTC

Malice wrote:Wouldn't it be a better compromise to allow lawsuits against discriminatory firings, but put the burden of proof on the employee?

In an at will state isn't that already the situation for larger companies?
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Vaniver » Tue May 19, 2009 2:30 am UTC

Malice wrote:Are you also against laws forcing restaurant owners to serve food to a class of people they are otherwise unwilling to serve?
Yes- but I would take part in a sit-in.

GhostWolfe wrote:I disagree. Businesses, no matter how small, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Rather, the government should be protecting them from (dare I say it) frivolous lawsuits claiming discrimination. If a worker is not performing to standard then that business has a genuine reason for firing that person. Assuming a business conducted itself in a demonstratably ethical manner, then there should be absolutely no need for courts and lawyers when that person turns around and claims "they only fired be because I'm a <insert discrimination of choice here>". Suing a company - large or small - on grounds of discrimination should not be a disgruntled employees first form of recourse; and if protected from the costs (monetary and otherwise) of these actions, businesses should not need to be exempt from anti-discrimination law.
The problem is, the only way to determine whether or not a case is frivolous is to hear it in court. Or what other method would you use? The investigator just asks the employer, "hey, did you do the right thing?"
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby psyck0 » Tue May 19, 2009 4:25 am UTC

Indon wrote:
GhostWolfe wrote:I disagree. Businesses, no matter how small, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Rather, the government should be protecting them from (dare I say it) frivolous lawsuits claiming discrimination. If a worker is not performing to standard then that business has a genuine reason for firing that person.

Easier said than done, methinks.

Say I start a business with a total of 4 people, only one of which is a stranger. Me and one other person are backing the effort with our own cash, so we're in charge, leaving two "employees".

How much documentation should I, as an 'employer' of two people, be collecting regarding their behavior? Especially if there's an informal feel to the whole thing.

You should be collecting as much as you can from the moment you decide that this person isn't working hard enough and you want to fire them. Take a few weeks, maybe a month or two, get your proof, fire them. Means some more work for you I suppose, covering their inadequacies, but you can also start looking for a replacement- you'd have to cover for them while they were gone anyway, so you don't end up too far behind.

EnderSword wrote:If I created a 'Investment Brokerages are all Thieves' blog, I might get fired too.
If it actually went against his 'healing techniques' it could be seen to attack his credibility, or even just taint his business with unpopular beliefs in his area.
Would you feel the same if he had a 'I hate n*****s blog? Instead of an I hate Christians blog?

Can be hard to find out what's reasonable, or what is even true about an accusation to begin with.

Fail at reading. Her HUSBAND created the blog. She had nothing to do with it. It wasn't even under her name. What her HUSBAND does has NO bearing on her status as an employee if she's not participating. Now you're advocating firing someone because their HUSBAND is black.

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby slow2learn » Tue May 19, 2009 5:01 am UTC

12 hours later.

Just wanted to point out that allowing employees to chokehold small businesses is bad for everyone.

I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.

As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby btilly » Tue May 19, 2009 5:28 am UTC

slow2learn wrote:12 hours later.

Just wanted to point out that allowing employees to chokehold small businesses is bad for everyone.

I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.

As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with the idea of applying the rules to small companies, but then letting insurance companies sell insurance against this kind of lawsuit?
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby slow2learn » Tue May 19, 2009 5:41 am UTC

btilly wrote:
slow2learn wrote:12 hours later.

Just wanted to point out that allowing employees to chokehold small businesses is bad for everyone.

I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.

As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with the idea of applying the rules to small companies, but then letting insurance companies sell insurance against this kind of lawsuit?


I like the idea in principle. Sounds like a good idea.

It raises a few questions.

Do we make it mandatory that small businesses have this legal insurance so as to not go under when disgruntled workers make acusations?

Can insurance companies foot a reasonable bill whereby small businesses are protected w/o being gouged? Does the federal govt need to mandate rates to protect small businesses from insurance companies?

Should we take out the middle man and let small businesses apply for federal insurance, (like a bank somewhat) to protect them?

I like this. Thanks btilly :D
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Malice » Tue May 19, 2009 6:47 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Malice wrote:Are you also against laws forcing restaurant owners to serve food to a class of people they are otherwise unwilling to serve?
Yes- but I would take part in a sit-in.


Yeah, those do a lot of good.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Belial » Tue May 19, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

Indon wrote:I mean, take this very case. How much proof does she have that she's being discriminated against for being atheist versus, say, her medical leave?


You read the story, didn't you?

slow2learn wrote:Do we make it mandatory that small businesses have this legal insurance so as to not go under when disgruntled workers make acusations?


Why would you?

I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.

As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.


Okay. What you're saying is "it's more important to me (as part of the majority) that I get my paycheck than that others be treated fairly."

How neat for you.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby slow2learn » Tue May 19, 2009 1:37 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
slow2learn wrote:Do we make it mandatory that small businesses have this legal insurance so as to not go under when disgruntled workers make acusations?
Why would you?


I'm not anywhere near the point of whole heartedly supporting this method. I'm excited that its the first Idea that's been presented that could help get both discrimination and company hostage holding out of the picture.

The arguement could be made that if small businesses are so volitle, and its important that they not go under (see everyone needs a job in this economic rumble) Then it could make sense to force all small businesses to have some form of legal insurance.

Whether or not I'd support making that a law... is still up in the air. I haven't considered the possiblities it incurs.

I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.
As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.

Okay. What you're saying is "it's more important to me (as part of the majority) that I get my paycheck than that others be treated fairly."


No, i'm not saying that i'm white, male privledged and dont give a fuck about those that arn't as lucky as me.

I'm saying that in trying to prevent the victimization of those being discriminated, lets not push for legislation that victimizes many more people (see uninvolved co-workers) into losing their job too.
Last edited by slow2learn on Tue May 19, 2009 1:56 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Mavketl » Tue May 19, 2009 1:47 pm UTC

slow2learn wrote:
Belial wrote:
slow2learn wrote:I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.
As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.

Okay. What you're saying is "it's more important to me (as part of the majority) that I get my paycheck than that others be treated fairly."

No, i'm not saying that i'm white, male privledged and dont give a fuck about those that arn't as lucky as me.

I'm saying that in trying to prevent the victimization of those being discriminated, lets not push for legislation that victimizes many more people (see uninvolved co-workers) into losing their job too.

What reason do you have to believe that not allowing people to discriminate or kick people out for having cancer will cause the downfall of small businesses? My country doesn't give them the right to fire people when they get sick (or, well, not for two years), and believe it or not, people still have jobs here. There are probably plenty of other countries around that have similar legislation, but I'm not well versed in labor laws and the likes.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby slow2learn » Tue May 19, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

Mavketl wrote:
slow2learn wrote:I'm saying that in trying to prevent the victimization of those being discriminated, lets not push for legislation that victimizes many more people (see uninvolved co-workers) into losing their job too.
What reason do you have to believe that not allowing people to discriminate or kick people out for having cancer will cause the downfall of small businesses? My country doesn't give them the right to fire people when they get sick (or, well, not for two years), and believe it or not, people still have jobs here. There are probably plenty of other countries around that have similar legislation, but I'm not well versed in labor laws and the likes.


Hola. Good to meet you. My name is slow2learn. According to many formites my name fits me well. :o

As stated previously, allowing workers to legally take response to discrimination at work shuts down small businesses because they do not have the cash flow, nor the time to be able to deal with a full out legal trial. It will shut them down because they dont have the resources to float for three months while paying lawyers to figure out if what was done to [in this case Amanda] was illegal.

Providing an insurance company is the first option that has been suggested that could alleviate both problems (discriminatory and economical). Hopefully there are more.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Mavketl » Tue May 19, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

slow2learn wrote:
Mavketl wrote:
slow2learn wrote:I'm saying that in trying to prevent the victimization of those being discriminated, lets not push for legislation that victimizes many more people (see uninvolved co-workers) into losing their job too.
What reason do you have to believe that not allowing people to discriminate or kick people out for having cancer will cause the downfall of small businesses? My country doesn't give them the right to fire people when they get sick (or, well, not for two years), and believe it or not, people still have jobs here. There are probably plenty of other countries around that have similar legislation, but I'm not well versed in labor laws and the likes.

Hola. Good to meet you. My name is slow2learn. According to many formites my name fits me well. :o
Hello.
slow2learn wrote:As stated previously, allowing workers to legally take response to discrimination at work shuts down small businesses because they do not have the cash flow, nor the time to be able to deal with a full out legal trial. It will shut them down because they dont have the resources to float for three months while paying lawyers to figure out if what was done to [in this case Amanda] was illegal.

Providing an insurance company is the first option that has been suggested that could alleviate both problems (discriminatory and economical). Hopefully there are more.
I understand the theoretical issue, but considering that what you expect (a rather big negative effect on small bussinesses because a whole lot of people will (ab)use this to sue them) is not happening in countries where similar laws are in effect, I'm asking: why do you predict that this will happen on a big enough scale to have a significant influence on the economy if these laws were changed in the USA?
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Gellert1984 » Tue May 19, 2009 2:31 pm UTC

Because the USA is full of americans.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby slow2learn » Tue May 19, 2009 2:34 pm UTC

Cool person I just met wrote:I understand the theoretical issue
iiirrrrrch...

Ah, see that's it, I argue theory. I'm not a [stats found here] kinda guy.

It's going to take a lot more than this argument to get me to the level of researching a college level paper on the statistics of countries with and without small business discrimination laws...

But then, do I really need to provide [citation needed] for average legal fees > small business income/savings?

And then after providing an example, perhaps someone will say "oh that's just anecdotal" and my 'theoretical' issue will crumble before a forum dependent on [multiple citations needed].Then I'll spend weeks researching the latest discrimination law suits and the money behind them. All to come to what point?

I'm not here to convince y'all. I'm here to argue. :)

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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Mavketl » Tue May 19, 2009 2:41 pm UTC

slow2learn wrote:
Cool person I just met wrote:I understand the theoretical issue
iiirrrrrch...

Ah, see that's it, I argue theory. I'm not a [stats found here] kinda guy.

It's going to take a lot more than this argument to get me to the level of researching a college level paper on the statistics of countries with and without small business discrimination laws...

But then, do I really need to provide [citation needed] for average legal fees > small business income/savings?

Well, if you state Theory X about a hypothetical situation, and someone gives you a counterexample ("Look, we have that situation here, and your theory does not seem to apply!"), you either account for it ("You can't compare the two, because your country isn't full of Americans!" per Gellert's example :P) or consider the theory less valid (if not disproved).

Wow, can you tell I like parentheses?
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby slow2learn » Tue May 19, 2009 2:46 pm UTC

Mavketl wrote:Wow, can you tell I like parentheses?

Yup, I like brackets. [We'll off-set each other that way.]
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Aikanaro » Tue May 19, 2009 3:17 pm UTC

Belial, I'm not quite as up on logic as most of the forum, but I think that you may be guilty of Poisoning the Well: Basically, since Slow2Learn is (presumably) part of the majority, and since the majority (usually) gets preferential treatment due to the status quo, coupled with the claim that the majority is quite often IGNORANT of said preferential treatment, any argument they can provide about how less pain/problems are caused by the status quo is, by definition, automatically invalid.

Granted, I'm viewing this through a very, very biased lens (my father owns a small company), so I'm not sure I'm the best person to argue about what is best, since of course I've lived most of my life just hearing one side of the story.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and while I'm a religious nut, if I heard of a mirror-image case of this (Christian/other religious person fired from an atheist employer), if it involved a SMALL business, I'd still just shrug and say, "Hey, that's how the rules are. You don't like it, work for a bigger company."
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Belial » Tue May 19, 2009 3:21 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:Belial, I'm not quite as up on logic as most of the forum, but I think that you may be guilty of Poisoning the Well: Basically, since Slow2Learn is (presumably) part of the majority, and since the majority (usually) gets preferential treatment due to the status quo, coupled with the claim that the majority is quite often IGNORANT of said preferential treatment, any argument they can provide about how less pain/problems are caused by the status quo is, by definition, automatically invalid.


Well, the thing is, slow2learn isn't actually providing any arguments as to why the status quo causes less pain.

He's just stating it. He'd rather see people discriminated against than protect them and hurt the economy. (No data stated as to how much the economy would be hurt either way, etcetera)

I am pointing out how self-interested a stance that is, given that A) he will probably never suffer the first and B) he lives in the second.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby Gellert1984 » Tue May 19, 2009 3:37 pm UTC

Wll I used to work for a small company and I have to say, I'd never do it again unless I'm desperate for work. For the most part, people were chummy but if they decided they didnt like you were up shit creek. I remember one guy got fired for stealing (he didnt do it, it turned out later that pretty much everyone there was stealing) the guy who ran the company found out every job he got after and told each he was a thief, loosing him his job each time (2 kids and a wife to support no less). Happy ending though, he got a job as a mechanic and the owner of that place told Mr. X he was quite capable of dealing with his own staff. Add to that quite a few shady work practices, for example, the guy who owned the company (a mechanics) also ran a parts delivery service but when that company went under he bought all the parts for a penny, declared bankruptcy and left a lot of unpaid angry people behind.

I'm not impressed with small companies and what they get away with, nor with the amount of support they get (I used to work for the government offering conditional grants to small companies, they get money for everything).
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby btilly » Tue May 19, 2009 3:39 pm UTC

slow2learn wrote:
btilly wrote:Out of curiosity, what is wrong with the idea of applying the rules to small companies, but then letting insurance companies sell insurance against this kind of lawsuit?

I like the idea in principle. Sounds like a good idea.

It raises a few questions.

Do we make it mandatory that small businesses have this legal insurance so as to not go under when disgruntled workers make acusations?

Can insurance companies foot a reasonable bill whereby small businesses are protected w/o being gouged? Does the federal govt need to mandate rates to protect small businesses from insurance companies?

Should we take out the middle man and let small businesses apply for federal insurance, (like a bank somewhat) to protect them?

I like this. Thanks btilly :D

Making things mandatory for small businesses is generally a bad idea because a lot of small businesses don't have anyone available whose job is to know all of the rules that they need to follow. Nor is it generally a good idea to create unnecessary government bureaucracies. However there is a real issue that if the insurance was expensive, then the only companies applying for it would be ones that know they are at risk of being sued. This doesn't look like a pool that insurers would like to insure.

A much better approach IMO would be to mandate that large insurance companies have to make some kind of insurance that lots of small businesses want also cover the cost of mounting a defense (lawyer's fees + something for time and money lost) but not the cost of the judgment. This will ensure that a lot of small businesses are covered against the risk of disgruntled workers suing, but will leave them with incentives to not actually do the bad things that they could be sued for. Furthermore the additional cost of this insurance would be small because insurance companies would be insuring mostly companies that have no expectation of ever being hit by such a lawsuit.

Mavketl wrote:
slow2learn wrote:As stated previously, allowing workers to legally take response to discrimination at work shuts down small businesses because they do not have the cash flow, nor the time to be able to deal with a full out legal trial. It will shut them down because they dont have the resources to float for three months while paying lawyers to figure out if what was done to [in this case Amanda] was illegal.

Providing an insurance company is the first option that has been suggested that could alleviate both problems (discriminatory and economical). Hopefully there are more.
I understand the theoretical issue, but considering that what you expect (a rather big negative effect on small bussinesses because a whole lot of people will (ab)use this to sue them) is not happening in countries where similar laws are in effect, I'm asking: why do you predict that this will happen on a big enough scale to have a significant influence on the economy if these laws were changed in the USA?

The USA has a fairly well-deserved reputation for being litigation happy. Whether we're talking product liability, medical malpractice or class action lawsuits, per capita costs from litigation in the USA are much higher than in other countries. Therefore there is very good reason to worry that other countries' experiences with a new type of potential lawsuit will not be a good guide to what will happen if the same kind of lawsuit becomes available in the USA.
Last edited by btilly on Tue May 19, 2009 5:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Worker fired for atheism, not legally discrimination (Texas)

Postby psyck0 » Tue May 19, 2009 4:27 pm UTC

Mavketl wrote:
slow2learn wrote:
Belial wrote:
slow2learn wrote:I mean, sucks that discrimination happens. But, its a hell of a lot better than forcing everyone in a company to lose their job when accusations are made. Better that one person get 'victimized' than the entire company go under.
As soon as we find a way to solution to stop discrimination that doesn't also harm the economy, the other non involved workers and the kill the business itself we'll have the utopia we are fighting for.

Okay. What you're saying is "it's more important to me (as part of the majority) that I get my paycheck than that others be treated fairly."

No, i'm not saying that i'm white, male privledged and dont give a fuck about those that arn't as lucky as me.

I'm saying that in trying to prevent the victimization of those being discriminated, lets not push for legislation that victimizes many more people (see uninvolved co-workers) into losing their job too.

What reason do you have to believe that not allowing people to discriminate or kick people out for having cancer will cause the downfall of small businesses? My country doesn't give them the right to fire people when they get sick (or, well, not for two years), and believe it or not, people still have jobs here. There are probably plenty of other countries around that have similar legislation, but I'm not well versed in labor laws and the likes.


Yeah, he's an american conservative. I have noticed something arguing with those here. They refuse to believe that anything that works elsewhere could possibly also work the same way in their precious country, due to "cultural differences" or some other such bullshit, and will spend hours screaming at the rooftops that it just won't work rather than taking the chance of trying it to see. They do this even when it is clear that their own system is not working, that the proposed foreign system is, and even when they have no clear alternative ideas themselves but just want to prolong the status quo. You get the identical issue with higher taxes and socialised heath care- both are broken in the US, both work great elsewhere, but AmeriCons refuse to acknowledge that other countries could possibly have something that works.


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