Yesterday, I read this story from David Moye on Huffington Post about a young Jewish girl’s birthday party at which the guests — friends of the birthday girl — were allowed to frost cupcakes. Well, it seems that two of the party guests decided that it would be funny to frost a chocolate swastika into their cupcakes and upload photos to Snapchat.
The mortified mother of the birthday girl called it a “teachable moment” about the horrors of the Holocaust, which, ironically, the swastika frosters had just learned about in school.
So, what does this have to do with your workplace?
Less colloquially, last Friday, the EEOC released this one-page fact sheet “designed to help young workers better understand their rights and responsibilities under the federal employment anti-discrimination laws prohibiting religious discrimination.” You can read the EEOC press release here.
You know, being a client of the Blogger King has its perks. (That’s me. I’m the Blogger King). When I’m not litigating and counseling on employment-related issues, I’m taking blog post requests and emailing weekly updates of HR goodies that don’t make it onto the blog.
But, with my DropBox and Pocket chock full of recent cases, I’ll summarize the recent biggies.
Yesterday, I had one of those moments. You know the ones.
For me, it was when a client asked me when I was going to blog about the Muslim workers in Colorado who were denied prayer breaks and, then, allegedly fired for protesting.
So, I did what any self respecting employment-lawyer-blogger would do: I Googled “Muslim Prayer Employee Protest Colorado Fired,” and I promised a client-inspired Wednesday post.
The bottom of the first page of this recent federal court opinion in EEOC v. Star Transport, Inc. really grabbed my attention:
In December 2008 or January 2009, Edward Briggs became Star Transport’s Human Resources Manager. He received no training on anti-discrimination laws, was not aware of any exceptions to the “at will” employment policy, had never heard of Title VII, and had no understanding of the company’s obligation to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. Gene Ozella was Star Transport’s Personnel Manager from 2008 to 2011; he also received no training on anti-discrimination laws…
How do you think this religious discrimination case is going to end for the employer?