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Bible Reading Receptionist California

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  • Bible Reading Receptionist California

    Our receptionist likes to read the bible while working at the front desk. I am not sure if this is appropriate and do not know how to approach her. Should I even bother bringing it up? A colleague of mine indicated that as long as she was not enforcing onto others I should leave it alone. Please advise.

  • #2
    If she reads the newspaper, would you object?
    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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    • #3
      What if she was reading from Sri Guru Granth Sahib...would you still be upset? Or is it only Christian scriptures that bothers you?

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      • #4
        I am aware that everyone is entitled to be from any religion or cult or whatever they wish to be and no, none of that bothers me lady. But I am also aware that other employees have their own rights and can bring it up to my attention. I was just wondering if there was a way at all possible that I could approach this. I did not expect to get a sarcastic response.

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        • #5
          You did not get a sarcastic response, nor did you answer the question.

          So are you saying that it is the fact that it is Christian scripture that bothers you? Because if she was reading Shinto scripture that happens to be in Japanese, I seriously doubt that you'd be concerned.

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          • #6
            Lady regardless if it was Japanese, Hindu, Christian, and or any other religion the concept of what type of religion it is does NOT bother me. I thought I was clear in my first response. What is of my concern is that there exists a concept of religion and to many believers or non believers they may misinterpret this,for example we now say happy holidays inorder to make sure we do not exclude any group of people during that particular season.

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            • #7
              I'm not an expert by any means, but I would think that asking her NOT to read the bible rather than any other book, would be stepping on discrimination grounds.

              The only way you could skirt that would be to tell her she can not read anything while working which is obviously not fair to most receptionists.

              If someone wears a religious outfit and I see it at work, it's thier right to wear it, not my right to say, "Oh you shouldn't wear that because my religion doesn't". If you think about it, it really is the same thing.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by demartian View Post
                The only way you could skirt that would be to tell her she can not read anything while working which is obviously not fair to most receptionists.
                That was what I was getting to, but my point was ignored.

                I fail to see how other employee "rights" are violated by someone reading the Bible or any other religious material (I presume the reading is not out loud).
                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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                • #9
                  Does the employer pay employees to read personal literature at the front desk? Does the employee's religion require that she read the Bible at the front desk? If the answer to those questions is no, the employer can tell her that she can't read the Bible at the front desk.

                  The federal EEO law requires an employer to accommodate the religious beliefs of an employee if doing so will not create an undue hardship. The law also prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee because of her religion. The employer would violate Title VII if it allowed Jewish employees to read the Torah, but told her she couldn't read the Bible.

                  Her reading the Bible (and it being in open view) may be offensive to other employees or customers who have to interact with her. Besides how do you work and read anything that's not involved with the work you are doing?

                  I don't know what the employer's business is, but I doubt it is trying to promote Christianity.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jpalacios25 View Post
                    I am aware that everyone is entitled to be from any religion or cult or whatever they wish to be and no, none of that bothers me lady. But I am also aware that other employees have their own rights and can bring it up to my attention. I was just wondering if there was a way at all possible that I could approach this. I did not expect to get a sarcastic response.
                    Stupid questions bring out sarcastic responses...that's what I've noticed.
                    “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

                    --Benjamin Franklin

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                    • #11
                      None of the other employees' rights are being violated by her reading the Bible.
                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cbg View Post
                        None of the other employees' rights are being violated by her reading the Bible.
                        ...or anything else!
                        “Be not niggardly of what costs thee nothing, as courtesy, counsel, & countenance.”

                        --Benjamin Franklin

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                        • #13
                          Mitousmom you pretty much nailed what was in question.

                          Judge there is no question that is stupid, or else how will we learn. Anywho, thank you to those that helped.

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                          • #14
                            If she is not allowed to read ANYTHING at the desk, then that's one thing.

                            If she is allowed to read at the desk, then I can't see that anyone's rights are being abridged if she wants to read the Bible, but her rights might well be abridged if you tell her she's not allowed to read the primary book of her religion.

                            The laws of this country promote freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.

                            If no one is complaining, and if she is allowed to read at her desk without being in violation of workplace rules, leave her alone.
                            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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                            • #15
                              An employee does not have a constitutional right to read a Bible or any other religious material while performing her duties or at work. However, under Title VII employees have a statutory right to work in an environment free of religious harassment. Some could object to the prominent display of the Bibile and question whether the employer is promoting a specific religion. Religious material is out of place in a secular work environment.

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