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can a boss give religious people extra pay in a for-profit business? California

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  • can a boss give religious people extra pay in a for-profit business? California

    My boss has a 'program' where he offers a Christian Bible Study before office hours begin. Anyone is allowed to join, but of course only Christians show up. The typically takes place a few times a week an hour before the office opens. He PAYS these employees to come that extra hour, even though they are not working. Myself and others in the office who are not Christians are offended that we do not have opportunities like this for extra money.
    The boss also shows religious movies during office-wide meetings and has group prayer before work each day.
    This is a for-profit business and it is not a church.
    Can a business offer extra pay to employees for their religious beliefs?

  • #2
    Well, technically that's not what he's doing. If you showed up you'd get the extra pay. He's not paying them on the basis of their beliefs; he's paying them on the basis of the fact that they showed up for that hour.

    However, I think it's questionable at best. It certainly couldn't do any harm for you to give the EEOC or the DFEH a call.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bulliedbypsycho View Post
      Myself and others in the office who are not Christians are offended that we do not have opportunities like this for extra money.
      You sure do have the opportunity. He is not excluding you from the group. You simply don't want to participate (neither would I), but if he wanted to hold a public meeting and pay ANYONE who attended a few bucks, it would be the same thing.

      If any employee attending one of these voluntary meetings put in for overtime, I seriously doubt they would be allowed it by the DOL.
      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ScottB View Post
        If any employee attending one of these voluntary meetings put in for overtime, I seriously doubt they would be allowed it by the DOL.
        Nope, it wouldn't. Being voluntary, outside regular working hours, not job-related, and the 4th one (I don't remember it off the top of my head).
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Is this the same place where the boss refuses to address your being threatened with a knife?

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          • #6
            yes, same business.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bulliedbypsycho View Post
              yes, same business.
              And you stay there for what reason?
              Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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              • #8
                ha...I sense the sarcasm..and that's O.K.

                basically:
                small town w/little job opportunities

                I have worked my way up the ladder at this company and have a very nice salary that would not be offered to me if I took a new job elsewhere..basically I'd have to start at the bottom again

                We just had a baby so finances are tight and quiting is a very frustrating topic for me to consider, but I do think about it

                I am hoping and crossing my fingers that the bully will be fired; my job was relatively calm and nice to work at ( or an nice and calm as a job can be)before he was hired. Fortunately I work in a separate building from him, but we cross paths in the restroom and breakroom.

                Trust me, I am filling out as many applications as possible so I can rid myself of this job, but with a family to support I don't have the option to just leave. Although I wish I could.
                thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. I am very glad I found this forum.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bulliedbypsycho View Post
                  ha...I sense the sarcasm..and that's O.K.
                  I was not trying to be sarcastic. Really.

                  Originally posted by bulliedbypsycho View Post
                  small town w/little job opportunities
                  Gotcha.
                  Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bulliedbypsycho View Post
                    ha...I sense the sarcasm..and that's O.K.

                    basically:
                    small town w/little job opportunities

                    I have worked my way up the ladder at this company and have a very nice salary that would not be offered to me if I took a new job elsewhere..basically I'd have to start at the bottom again

                    We just had a baby so finances are tight and quiting is a very frustrating topic for me to consider, but I do think about it

                    I am hoping and crossing my fingers that the bully will be fired; my job was relatively calm and nice to work at ( or an nice and calm as a job can be)before he was hired. Fortunately I work in a separate building from him, but we cross paths in the restroom and breakroom.

                    Trust me, I am filling out as many applications as possible so I can rid myself of this job, but with a family to support I don't have the option to just leave. Although I wish I could.
                    thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. I am very glad I found this forum.
                    The next boss might not be such a Christian, and not give you quite a nice pay rate and working conditions.

                    You are trying to get your boss in trouble for paying those that take advantage of his study sessions, and trying to get "psycho" co workers fired.

                    I suggest you start reading threads on this forum, and find out what a bad boss really is! I also suggest you take advantage of the study sessions. You might just learn something

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                    • #11
                      I am not trying to get my boss in trouble.....I am, however, interested in getting "psycho" fired, so you are right about that. The 'psycho' threatens others in the office as well. I am unfortunately one of only 2 people who actually stand up to him, therefore, we've become his targets. Everyone else is too scared to say anything to him or the boss. It's the classic playground bully scenario.
                      I worked for 13 years in a corporate office for a large grocery chain. Working in a small family owned business is quite the polar opposite of working for a large corporation. I am seeing more and more differences the longer I work here. Some of the differences I am curious as to if they are legitimate business practices ( aka the Bible Study) that are allowed under Labor Laws or Fair Employment laws. That is why I posted this question. I went from working in one strict, professional environment to an environment that is extremely unstructured. Hey, my current job doesn't give performance reviews, only recently made an employee handbook, and until I got hired didn't even have workmans comp insurance, even though the boss has a significant employee base. A lot of the management 'stuff' that was faulty did not come to my attention until I was promoted into management. Therefore, as I see the huge differences between a large mainstream corp. and my current job, I can't help but to question the fairness or legality of some of the situations.

                      And as for the possibility of my 'new' manager not being a Christian and not giving me a nice salary, I dispute that. I don't think a person's religious beliefs should come into practice when deciding on a person's salary. It should be based on performance, expertise and experience. And there are plenty of non-Christian bosses out there who pay their employees very nicely.
                      I am sure there are many bad bosses out there, but the only one I'm worried about is mine. Hearing other people's stories about their bad bosses won't make my situation disappear; unless misery loves company, but I don't roll with that.
                      Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the suggestion to attend the study session. I will not take part in them as I already attend church on the weekend and belong to another 'study' group. Instead of going into work early to 'study' I use that extra hour to spend time with my family.
                      Last edited by bulliedbypsycho; 04-11-2007, 02:12 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Pattymd
                        Nope, it wouldn't. Being voluntary, outside regular working hours, not job-related, and the 4th one (I don't remember it off the top of my head).

                        "and the 4th one" - no other work is currently performed.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Droopy128 View Post
                          Pattymd


                          "and the 4th one" - no other work is currently performed.
                          Thanks. I was too busy to look it up.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                          • #14
                            GotSmart- were your comments really called for? geesh! Give this person a break! There is always a "worse" boss out there. As for bulliedbypsycho.... BRAVO for a "classy" response to Got Smart's insensitive comments.

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                            • #15
                              lf644 -- This post is almost two years old. Is dredging up two-year old posts in order to criticize someone else really called for?
                              I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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